The holiday season is incredibly busy for most business owners, particularly if you’re a maker or product based business. And as much as you love your business, you deserve time off to spend with your loved ones (or by yourself if family isn’t your thing) just as much as everybody else, right? YES YOU DO.
There are a couple of things, as business owners, that we can do to manage our business over the holidays. We can ease a bit of the stress and hopefully find some time to kick back and relax a bit.
Decide how much you want to work over the holidays (if at all)
This is the biggest one for me. If you don’t want to work over the holidays, then you shouldn’t feel like you have to just because everybody else seems to be doing it. You cannot base your business model off of other people and their businesses. Do what works for you and what feels right for you.
You can choose to not work at all, check in occasionally (and actually define what occasionally means for you so that you’re not checking in constantly), or work right through the holidays.
No matter which option you choose you’re going to need to…
If you think you don’t want to work during the holidays, you’re going to need to create a plan for your business to enable you to take that time off. Do you have customers depending on you? Do you have outstanding orders? How will you notify your customers? Is there a deadline you can set to make sure everything gets done or can be postponed?
If you do want to work through the holidays, map it out. Pick up your calendar or notebook and plan how you will spend your time. When is it work time and when is it family time?
The more planning you do, the more you will be able to sit back a bit during the holidays.
Under the same vein as planning, you need to prioritise tasks and find out what needs to get done first. I’ve previously written about writing task lists in a previous blog post that you can check out here.
Any time I take a holiday, I make a task list and figure out what I need to get done beforehand and what can wait until I get back.
Scale Back/Take a Break
Depending on how much you’ve decided to work over the holidays, you’re either going to be scaling back your business or taking a break. Unless you’re a super boss bitch and decide to kick ass all through the holidays, in which case…you do you.
Whether you’re scaling back or taking a break during the holidays, you will need to…
Let your clients know
If you’re taking time off or scaling back production, send a message to your clients letting them know. Consider popping a ribbon at the top of your website.
Letting your clients know your holiday plan makes for a better experience because expectations are being set.
Tell them when the last date is for them to place orders to make sure they receive their item before Christmas. Let them know when regular production will be back.
Schedule social media posts or choose to be offline
I think scheduling social media posts is a great idea anyway, but you may want to consider it over the holidays. This can be a great opportunity to put in a bit more work up front and sit back and enjoy the festive spirits after.
Many people don’t work over the holidays and what do we do when we’re trying to escape family drama at the dinner table? Find a cosy, quiet corner in a room and scroll. If you schedule your posts, your content is staying present on people’s feeds. Keep your images and captions relevant to your brand and the season.
Or you can choose to be completely offline over the holidays, including on your social media channels. Maybe just let your clients know beforehand.
Set up out of office on your email
I love out of office emails anyway, no matter the occasion. Around the holidays, though, they seem particularly more important. If you’re experiencing delays, reducing production by scaling back, or taking much needed time off, an out of office email will keep your clients informed.
No one likes being ghosted or kept waiting. A little auto email keeps the majority of people happy because their expectations have now been set. I’m all about setting client expectations.
Remember: everyone else is trying to enjoy their holiday too
However you’ve decided to manage your business over the holidays, just remember that a great number of people are also trying to enjoy their holiday. Take a deep breath, you’ve got this.