Boo! It’s October which officially kicks off the holiday season (does that seem so crazy or what?!) We are big fans of this time of year, and even though Halloween is a few weeks away, we are already thinking about the end of the year and what that means for our business!
Because we are prepping for the holidays in all ways (business, personal, etc.) we thought we’d take you along for the ride in how WE prepare to ensure our holiday season is as magical as possible without any business issues slowing us down. While we LOVE giving 110% to our clients and helping them be successful, we also want to enjoy time with our families and support our clients doing the same.
When it comes to working smarter, not harder around the holidays, we have 3 tips that ALL business owners can use. We have implemented these strategies multiple years in a row now and it allows us to be more slow and present in the coming months. Ready to see what they are?
3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Holiday Season
1. Make a Plan EARLY
Yep, it’s October and we’re already talking about what the last few weeks of the year will look like. We want a CLEAR PLAN for what our clients can expect from us, what we will have on our plate, and what we will do ahead of time to ensure that time is kept how we want it.
One of our biggest tips for making this plan is to start early in tackling typical “end of the month” projects. We actually have several clients who work on a monthly deadline and just like normal, they are expecting things to be done by December 31st. Because we know this in advance, we’re starting NOW to work on those projects.
By creating a calendar with specific deadlines and a precise timeline of events to fit it all in early, we find it’s easy to then enter December with LESS on our plates. We highly recommend writing down every single thing or task that will need to get done by January 1st and then calendaring those items in throughout October, November, and early December. We believe this is possible for most businesses, so try it out!
2. Decide What Can Wait
Thankfully, there are some things that can wait until the new year to get done at Peanut Butter Creative. Our tip here is for you to evaluate the same; what really does not need to be a priority until early next year? You might find that there is quite a bit that CAN wait, but would waiting cause a lot of stress in January? Make sure to evaluate that carefully.
Deciding what could wait is meant to remove items on your to-do list now, but don’t let that get confused with adding a significant amount of work to your load early next year. If it CAN be done easily, within your budget, and with the resources you currently have available in the next few weeks, consider keeping it on your to-do list so you don’t skip a beat. If it’s a timely, costly, intense project that cannot be fully implemented or completed in about 2 months, consider bumping it to next year when you can give all of your time and energy to it.
3. Notify Your Audience
We cannot speak more highly of this time period for communicating expectations during the holidays. Like you, your clients / followers / customers likely plan to enjoy the holiday season too. But that might mean they have MORE time available to them to shop, schedule, or learn about something new. This is where your communication with them comes into play.
We recommend sending at least 3 separate notifications to your customers or clients regarding your holiday schedule and availability starting in November! The more in advance they know, the more they can also plan accordingly to be able to reach you, order, or schedule with you.
Starting in November, send out a newsletter announcement, social media post, or other form of communication letting your audience know about your holiday schedule. Then, send another at the end of November and ANOTHER the first week of December. This may seem like overkill but we PROMISE it will help with less requests, messages, etc. during the month of December!
As a bonus to this tip, consider using this holiday schedule update to throw in a promotion! You could easily offer a discount (related to the holidays) OR a special gift with purchase / sign up / etc. as a reward for your audience accommodating to your limited availability in the later part of the year. We love a good boost in sales in the 4th quarter, too!
Regardless of your actual work hours or plans for the holidays, we do recommend implementing these 3 strategies to allow yourself to differentiate between this time of the year and the rest. You DO deserve to take some time off, to slow down and be present with your people, and of course, to enjoy the magic of the season.
What else would you recommend to help you work smarter, not harder, during the holidays? Let us know!
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