How to run your business during the holidays….and ensure you enjoy all the festivities!
There are very few things I miss from my 9-5 day job I had before becoming an entrepreneur. But 1 thing I do miss? That feeling of clocking off a few days before Christmas and not remotely thinking about work until the New Year. Bliss!
In the voluntary sector, when we clocked off for Christmas, everybody did. Nobody was sending emails. Nobody was calling and I wasn’t panicking about what was going on whilst I was away.
Now as a business owner, those moments don’t exist. There is ALWAYS something going on. If you run a business that means you’re busy over the festive period then you’re going to be working to demand. But, if you do have the option to close over the holidays and it isn’t going to have a negative impact on sales….then do! We all need a break.
Here’s how to run your business over the holidays as a solopreneur:
1. Manage customer’s expectations
At one of my businesses Mutual Attraction, we work very closely with clients in a personal environment. We close for around 10 days so need to manage their expectations that we won’t be available to them for that time. We start letting them know late November/early December. This gives them plenty of time to ask any questions or sort any issues out before we’re off. This means we’re far less likely to hear from clients over the holidays.
2. Add closure dates to your website
Simple yet effective.
Add your closure and reopening dates to your homepage, contact page and blog on your website. If you have a phone number, add these dates to your answer phone. Don’t forget to add a note to your calendar to remove these on your first day back in the office. I once saw a ‘we are closed for Christmas’ message on a website in August!
3. Set your out of office
Depending on your business, you might find suppliers and customers may still contact you over the holidays. Set a clear out of office outlining your closure dates and when they can expect to hear back from you. If it’s helpful, signpost people to your FAQ page on your website. Aim to be as helpful as possible.
4. Schedule social media (and whatever you can!)
Scheduling is your best friend over the holidays. At A League of Her Own Charly and I schedule all social media, blog posts and The League business modules. Why work hard when you can work smart? We will still check in on social though but it’s not so bad doing it in front of the TV with a tub of quality street on your lap and a bucks fizz in hand!
5. Sort banking ahead of time
Let vendors know in advance your closure dates and ask them to send any invoices in advance if they’d like them paid before the holidays. As I have employees at Mutual Attraction, I also ask our accountant to process Payroll before the holidays so I know it’s all sorted and my team won’t be left without their salaries!
6. Have a ‘to do list’ for the 1st day back
The first day back can be a bit painful, but I’ve found keeping the day clear to catch up on emails and reconnect with clients starts the new year off to a calm start. I always leave myself a ‘to do list’ on the last day of work. This stops me waking up in the night thinking ‘I need to do X’!
Here’s what I’ve found about closing my business during the holidays – people understand. They too want to enjoy the festive season and if you prepare enough in advance, you can switch off and enjoy all the festivities whilst having a well deserved break! Enjoy.