It is the middle of November and the holiday season will soon be upon us. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, whatever you will be celebrating when you run a small business you need to think about how to organise it for the holiday season as most people will take time off to celebrate with family. This year is going to be a strange one because of Covid and there are different rules in different countries but wherever you are you need to think about how to get your business ready for the holiday season so it can keep ticking over.
Although children in the UK are back at school, we have had the children home for homeschooling so we have become quite the experts in organising our business around them. I think prepping your business for the holiday season is not much different but it is again a change in routine – a change in your working days and hours because you want to make the most of time with family. Especially this year!
So here are a few little tips!
Re-plan your days and hours
The first thing to do to organise your business for the holiday season is to re-plan your days and hours. There are a few options here. The first one is to keep the same amount of working hours but structure them differently over your week.
I have teenagers so they, usually, are in bed till about 11 and then generally don’t really need me till about lunch time ☺. So during the Christmas holiday I get up early and make sure I am behind my computer at 6 am! IF you have little ones, however, it is slightly more complicated. You could move your working hours to early morning before they wake up, nap times and evenings.
The second option is to inform your clients well in advance that you are reducing your hours for a certain amount of time. Obviously you will earn less but if this works for you, this is the less stressful option.
And finally, ask your children what they want to do in the Christmas holidays so you can plan it in. But also, if your children are old enough explain that you will have to work some hours when they are home and they will either have to entertain themselves or have someone look after them.
If changing your working hours or reducing is not an option for you, you can choose to work with an Associate. An Associate is a Virtual Assistant who you contract to cover certain tasks. You normally sign a contract with an Associate for a longer period of time. Obviously this is all quite delicate as this person is going to take on some of YOUR work, working with YOUR clients, so there are a few things to consider: You want to look for someone with the same work ethics and value and you want to make sure your Associate has the right skills to take on the tasks you give them.
The best place to try and find an Associate is in your direct circle of contacts. You are probably a member of different Facebook Groups, Network Groups and/or Linkedin Groups. Put your feelers out and ask around. Once you have identified a few people make sure you do interviews and once you have identified the right person, make sure you sign a contract!
If you don’t want to work with an Associate, you can contract work out through a company like Fiverr. Fiverr works more like an agency where you can hire a freelancer on an adhoc basis. Great for if you have a couple of little projects over the Christmas period that need finishing.
Automate your business as best as you can
The third way to organise your small business for the holiday season is to automate your business as best as you can. This is an important one! We live in a digital world and quite a few aspects of your business can be automated. I am talking about your blogs, newsletter and social media posts. To do this you first need to make sure you plan all your content well in advance to make sure it is ready before you break up for the Christmas holiday. Then make sure you automate as much as you can. There are so many digital tools out there to help you with this: ConvertKit for your newsletters and blogs, Tailwind to schedule all your pins, Hootsuite or Smarterqueue for your other social media.
Make sure you have it all scheduled because you will be amazed at how many people check their social media over the Christmas holiday!
As you can see the underlying message is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!Having above systems in place will make sure you reduce your stress during the Christmas holiday and at the same time keeps your business running so you can enjoy some well-deserved time off!
How are YOU preparing for the Christmas holiday?