The holidays can often be a tricky time for businesses. Finding the balance between the rush of holiday shopping and activities while still keeping your profits high is difficult, especially for small business owners. It is possible, though, to have a successful holiday season without creating too much stress on yourself!
Since the holidays are one of the most popular times for people to shop, setting up your holiday advertising plan in advance is imperative if you want to set a good foundation for making money throughout the holidays. This is especially true if you’re offering services, like consulting. Since people are typically spending money on things around the holidays instead of services, your offer is going to have to really impress them.
Consider what services you need to advertise and the channels you’ll use for those advertisements. Ideally, you’ll choose your most popular service and offer it at a discount for your holiday shoppers.
Not only does planning ahead benefit you as the business owner when it comes to knowing what you are offering, but it helps to engage those clients who might not have purchased from you otherwise.
Of course, you must consider your budget when determining how you will advertise services. Will you post on your social media platforms and hope your offer spreads by word of mouth and shares from family and friends? Will you consider a few PPC (pay per click) ads on Google or Facebook? Will you go the traditional route by adding an ad to your local newspaper? Whatever you choose, make sure it’s an option that will work for your business and fit into your budget.
Prioritize Your Responsibilities
It takes a lot of work to make sure your business thrives throughout the holidays. A great way to make sure you’re spending your time on the right tasks is to prioritize the things you need to do and the items you want to accomplish as you work your way through the holiday season.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to create “end of the year” goals. Starting in mid-November I list out all of the things that I need to accomplish by the end of the year. Then, I break those projects into smaller tasks so that I can lay them out week by week, scheduling work around the holiday breaks.
This is especially helpful during days and weeks when there are more family commitments than usual. When I know what’s really important, I’m able to get those things done and move other, lesser tasks to another day or week.
Ask for Help
When you run your own business, it can be easy to get caught up in having to do all the things by yourself. I know from experience that managing it all yourself can be cost-effective at times, but when you decide to take the day off, things can fall through the cracks. If that’s your business as well, then this holiday season might be the perfect time to take a step back and allow someone else to help you.
You might start by asking family and friends for some help during the holiday season. If that’s not an option, consider hiring an assistant to carry your business through the holiday season. Wouldn’t it be nice for someone else to answer your emails, write that blog post, or make sure your social media posts go out on a regular basis?
If you do choose to hire seasonal help, make sure that your employees know that ahead of time and that you’ve clearly laid out the parameters for the amount of time you want them to work and the end date of their employment with you. Of course, my guess is that you’ll fall in love with having someone to help you and make an offer for long-term employment come January.
Track Your Transactions
Of course, if you are running a successful business, it’s likely you are tracking your income each and every month. Take it a step further during the holidays and keep track of the things your customers are purchasing or the needs your clients have during this season. In addition to knowing exactly where your profits are coming from, you’ll have a better idea of how to serve your clients’ needs next year.
If you already have data from last year related to the holidays and your business, make sure you use that to come up with your holiday marketing and vacation plan for this year.
Experiment with Your Offerings
Trying out a new product or service on your customers can be difficult and feel like a big risk to your business. While you may be worried about how it will impact your holiday sales or those year-end goals, keep in mind that the holidays are usually the best time to try something new. Since your sales will likely be higher because of holiday spending, the risk of a new product or service is lower. Consider offering it as a holiday exclusive and, if it’s popular, keep it in your lineup for the upcoming year or as a traditional holiday offering.
Give Yourself a Break
While it might seem important to get those last-minute holidays sales in and bring your yearly income to an all-time high, don’t let the holiday stress get to you. I don’t know about you, but when I get stressed, I’m less creative and more willing to just give it all up for a week on the couch watching the Hallmark Channel – and honestly, then I’ve failed myself and my business.
Make sure you are scheduling time into your days so that you have the ability to relax, rest, and enjoy the holiday season with your family (and watch a Hallmark movie or two). If you have the tendency to work all of the time, it might be necessary to set rules for yourself and limits for yourself and your business. You might start by dictating when you will and won’t work and then finding someone else that will help to keep you accountable.
Holidays and Business
How do you navigate the holidays and business at the same time? Leave a comment below and let me know!