The holiday season is extremely hectic for any small business owner, so it's important to always be a step ahead by being fully prepared when that time rolls around.
Do: Determine Your Holiday Schedule Ahead of Time
When you own a small business, you don't necessarily have to have a brick-and-mortar store, so it's easy to find yourself working longer-than-usual hours. The holidays are supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation, so be sure to set holiday hours for yourself and make sure that you create vacation days for yourself as well.
Once you decide what your vacation days will be and how long you want to work leading up to those vacation days, be sure to inform your audience. Giving your customers notice ahead of time will keep you from finding yourself with last-minute projects and tasks you need to finish.
Don't: Completely Abandon Ship During Your Break
Although you should definitely take a break during the holidays, you shouldn't completely abandon your business during this time.
Before you leave on your holiday break, put some aspects of your business on auto-pilot. Schedule your email campaigns in advance, schedule your social media posts, and contact your virtual assistant, staff and/or web developer and ask them to keep tabs on certain things for you. Or, if you find that you can't completely tear yourself away from your online business, determine a day that you can “cheat” and allow yourself to look over business stuff – but stick to it!
Do: Stay On Top Of Business Finances
When you are preparing for the holidays, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the hustle and bustle of the season. If you aren't careful, you might find yourself spending a bit more in your business than you expect to.
Create a holiday budget for your business so you can make sure that you don't spend more than you bring in for your membership site. Before you leave your business for the holidays, be sure to look over your finances so you can see where your business stands.
Don't: Go Overboard With Holiday Sales
The last two months of the year can be a blessing and a curse for small businesses. Around Thanksgiving, you have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which is an excellent way to snag deals on tools and resources for your online business. Around Christmas, there are always deals and sales running that are attractive to online business owners. However, taking advantage of all of these deals can easily get you in financial trouble if you aren't careful.
Before you make that first purchase, take into consideration what you need the most and focus on those. If you find that you have enough money in your budget to splurge on something else for your business, then make another purchase.
Do: Highlight Your Business' Accomplishments This Year
When you start an online business, it can be easy to focus so much on what you need to do or accomplish that you neglect to consider the accomplishments you have made throughout the year.
In your final business analysis of the year, be sure to look at all the positive your business has done this year. Did you reach a sales goal? Hire a new employee that was a big help? Did you gain new membership customers? Launch a new online course? Whatever it is, don't forget to acknowledge and praise your business for that.
Don't: Stress Yourself Over What You Didn't Accomplish This Year
Last but not least, don't stress yourself over what you didn't accomplish this year in your business. As a business owner, we understand that you want to make sure everything in your business goes as smoothly as possible, but the truth is that's not always the case. Even the most successful businesses don't reach all of their goals in a year.
It's okay to look at where your business fell short in the past year, but don't dwell on it. Take each situation as a lesson and learn from it. Strive to do better next year.
The holidays and approach of a new year are always stressful – for both the common person and the business owner. But being able to prepare ahead of time will make this time just a bit less overwhelming for you. We do hope these tips will help you to stay grounded and ready for the end of the year.
Do you have any tips for business owners on how to prep for the holidays and the new year? Share your wisdom below!