How to survive the holidays as a business owner

How to survive the holidays as a business owner

How are you feeling about the holidays?

Are you relaxed, peaceful, and well organized? Or…like many of us…. are you walking along with a feeling of overwhelm?

For many businesses, the holidays are their busy season while for others it’s a season of extreme slowness. No matter what kind of business you run or how many customers you have clamoring for your attention, this time of year tends to present a long list of challenges!

Understanding how to take advantage of this holiday season and preventing it from swallowing you whole is extremely beneficial to your business and your personal well-being. This might mean taking extra time for planning, preparation, and education, but it also means checking out these holiday survival tips that will help you enjoy and profit from this holiday season.

Schedule In Time Off For Yourself

Sometimes when running a business, it’s altogether too easy to forget that you aren’t a robot and it’s okay to take some time off once in awhile. Schedule some time off during this holiday season to spend time with your family and friends, to go on a vacation, or to just chill out, eat good food, and binge watch some Netflix. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’re able to work once you get back to work after your time off! In order to maintain your peace of mind and keep your clients up to date, be sure to let your clients know you’ll be out of the office for a little while to celebrate the holidays. You can do this with an auto-reply email, or a special holiday-greeting email.

Be Generous With your Employees

Just like it’s easy to forget that you aren’t a robot, it can also be difficult to remember what your employees need, want, or would like. Offer them time off as much as you can manage it. They’ll appreciate it and be happier to continue working for you!

Bring On Some Temp Employees/Contractors

If this is your busy season, then do yourself and your full-time employees a favor by hiring some extra help for this flustered time. Many people are open to “temp” work in order to score some holiday cash. This will help you give people time off, and it will also help you better manage the floods of customers and orders.

Say “No”!

When you’re faced with a client who’s asking you to fast-track a new project, to work over the holidays, or simply do more work than you currently have time for, feel free to tell them no. It can be incredibly difficult to do this, especially when considering monetary or networking benefits lost, but you’ll be happier you did when Christmas comes around and you’re actually free to spend it with your family and friends. If the project is incredibly important, consider negotiating to have it delivered by a slightly later deadline or at a lesser quantity. Just be sure not to sacrifice the holidays for work.

Don’t Over-Do the “Holiday Cheer.”

It’s perfectly fine to send your clients holiday cards or even Christmas emails, but if you find yourself feeling obligated to hand-write a card to every one of your clients, you might re-think it. Consider selecting a handful of key business contacts/clients who have impacted your business this year and send them a handwritten note. For the rest, you might consider sending a classy, festive holiday email.

Pop Open A Recliner And Enjoy

This time of year only comes around once, so be intentional about enjoying it. While this might be easier said than done, especially with expenses, taxes, sales, and customers all on your mind, it’s time to put that on hold for a few days. Enjoy your favorite drinks, watch your favorite movies, eat some good food, and listen to music filled with memories. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so let yourself do just that.

If you’re looking for some extra help and ways to streamline/automate your business, let’s talk!! Because a lot of people are looking for help this time of year, I’ve opened up some additional slots on my calendar just for you!!

YES, I am ready to streamline my business and increase productivity and profitability!

Have a great week!

Robyn Bennett

P.S. Happy Holidays!

Do you think you need to hire someone? How to be sure!

Do you think you need to hire someone? How to be sure!

Is your business still a one-man band? Here’s how to know when you’re ready to hire some help.

It’s fun running a business on your own, but it does have some limits. If your long-term goal is to grow big then eventually you will need to hire someone. But when is the right time? Becoming responsible for someone else’s income can feel daunting. Hiring that first contractor can feel like a huge leap and many small business owners wait too long before making the jump.

These are a few signs you may be ready to hire some help, whether it be contractors for specific tasks (VA related things, a web designer, SEO help) or actual hourly/salaried employees. 

  • You’re turning away potential clients. Do you have new clients knocking at your door but not enough time to serve them all? Are you constantly running out of stock on popular items? This is a big sign that you are ready to expand. You could hire an assistant to take on simple but time-consuming tasks so you can spend more time with your customers. Or maybe you need some sales people to help you sell your product/services. Figure out where the bottleneck is happening and consider hiring help to increase your client/customer capacity.
  • Your current clients are complaining. Are you getting emails from clients complaining things are moving too slowly? Or that the work quality is suffering? This is a sign that you have spread yourself too thin, and hiring someone to help could really make a difference.
  • You don’t have time for invoicing and paperwork. Constantly behind on paperwork? Delegating this to someone else will not only take the stress off you but will help keep you in your passion zone.
  • You’re feeling a major learning curve. It could be building your website, writing content, analyzing SEO, marketing, advertising or anything that you simply don’t have the skill set for. You could spend hours upon hours figuring it out on your own OR you could pay someone who already knows how to do it. Do you want to spend your time or your money? If you don’t have a certain skill that is vital to growing your business, it could save you a lot of time and even money to hire someone else to do it for you.
  • You are multitasking frequently and/or staying up until 2AM. Are you answering emails while on the phone with clients? Are you staying up until 2AMmore than a couple times a month? Hiring help could greatly improve your quality of life and help your business run more efficiently so you can be 100% present with whatever task you’re working on.
Craig Murphy who runs specialist web design company ALT Agency in Birmingham believes that when looking to hire a web designer you should not jump into signing any contracts with them. Whilst it’s very exciting working with a new web design agency, it’s important to define key items such as:
  • Will they be charging by the hour or per project?
  • How will your project be managed?
  • In what format do you need to deliver your brief to them?
  • How quickly can the agency respond to you submitting tasks?
It’s important to know these things before jumping into bed with any web design agency as it will save you headaches and a lot of time in the long run.

Do you resonate with 2 or more of these points? It might be time to bring on your first contractor or employee.