What happened to the holidays? You used to be so excited about December … until you became an entrepreneur.
Your childhood excitement about toys, candy and holiday songs has now been replaced with stress from demanding customers, tough school exams and busy schedules. No wonder Mr. Scrooge was so grumpy. If you are having issues with holiday stress for your business, there are ways to manage it.
Here are some easy tips to keep your customers happy and enjoy some holiday cheer.
Remember your purpose.
This is also called remembering your “why,” as in “Why do you want to have your own business?”
Remembering that you enjoy creating and sharing a product, or that you like using your skills to help others, can help you face tight deadlines and other stressful parts of running a business.
Make a to-do list…
Having a plan makes you more productive. In the morning (or better yet, the night before), make a list of just a few tasks and/or goals that you want to accomplish during the day.
Cross out each item as you finish it. Sometimes, just seeing that some progress is being made is enough to make you feel better.
…But do not try to do everything.
Some tasks and goals are more important than others. Take time to prioritize when different projects need to be done. Handle the tasks with the closest deadlines, first. If some of your work doesn’t have a clear deadline, decide how important those tasks are to you and list the most important tasks first.
Keep in touch.
Staying in regular contact with your family and your customers is the key to finding balance between working and celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays. Talk to your parents or friends about your business schedule for December, especially those who might expect you be with them at parties and other holiday events.
Talk to your customers about how you plan to provide your products or services during the busy holiday season. For example, if you think you might have more orders or less time to work on orders than usual, let your customers know. Using social media or sending email updates to customers on your business’ email list are some great ways to do this.
Connecting with your customers also helps them have reasonable expectations for when and how they will get your products and services.
Take care of yourself.
Everyone needs time to recharge. Make time for your favorite ways to relax. Some great ideas are to take an afternoon off, hang out with friends, or just take a nap. When there’s a lot to do, sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a quick break, so you can feel refreshed and be more productive.
Don’t let the holidays’ busy season turn you into Scrooge or The Grinch. Remember your business goals, create a to-do list, and set priorities, and communicate with family and customers. Also, be sure to enjoy some “me time” every now and then.
Use these tips to make December the most wonderful, and profitable, time of the year!