I know that it’s still only November (and that some people absolutely refuse to think about anything festive until advent kicks off officially!), but it’s worth thinking carefully about what you are going to do with your business over the Christmas period so that you can enjoy a relaxing festive break – we all need one after another challenging year for small business owners!
Here are my top tips:
1. Get organised as early as possible – start planning now what work you need to complete before the Christmas break, and what can wait until after New Year. This will help to ease any stress or pressure you are feeling, and mean that you can really enjoy some time off over the festive period. Also make sure that your clients and colleagues are aware of the days that you won’t be available – the more notice that they have the easier they can plan too!
2. If you have any big projects due to be completed before Christmas, make sure you start them early so that you don’t have a last minute rush. In some cases, you may have to consider adjusting deadlines or not taking on any more work until you return; it’s not easy feeling as though you are letting some of your clients down by doing this, but clients come to you because of the quality and accuracy of the work you complete, and if they have to wait an extra couple of weeks for it, it’s not the end of the world!
3. Delegate where possible – if you have employees or contractors working for you, delegate tasks and give them responsibility for certain aspects of your business over the Christmas period. Just make sure that you’re aware of their Christmas plans too so that they can also take well-deserved time off.
4. Make use of technology – there are plenty of online tools and apps that can help you to stay on top of your workload and keep your business running smoothly, even when you are taking some time off. Auto-responders for emails, scheduling tools for social media, etc. – making use of these tools can help keep your business moving when you aren’t actually in it!
5. Plan for the New Year – if it’s generally a little bit slower in your business post-Christmas, why not use the quieter Christmas period to start planning for the year ahead? This will mean that you can hit the ground running in January, and make the most of the new year and the added motivation that ‘new year, new me!’ tends to give you!
6. Keep eating, sleeping and drinking plenty of fluids – it’s lurgy season, so make sure to look after yourself as you prepare for the Christmas break! There’s nothing quite like getting to Christmas eve and finding that you’ve burnt yourself out, and are unable to do anything other than hide in bed for the first 72 hours of the festivities… we’ve all been there, and it’s not conducive to a merry Christmas!
Hopefully, some of these tips will prove helpful, and you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free Christmas break!