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It’s November already! Where did the year go? That means that the holiday season is swiftly approaching. It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year, but can be a tricky time for the home-based professional juggling work and added holiday tasks. Especially if you’re taking on extra work to make money for the holidays. We asked these experts to give their tips on surviving this time of the year. These ideas can help you stay sane and profitable during the holidays.
My best tip for staying profitable throughout the holiday season is planning ahead–and keeping your clients/customers in the loop.
For example: I run a content marketing business. The majority of clients I work with don’t have much budget toward the final few months of the year (because they put more into seasonal advertising and save marketing budgets for the New Year), but I plan around this by securing the work way before holiday season comes around.
I let my clients know my availability for December and ask for theirs, then plan around that. Leaving it to the last minute means my clients either: won’t have budget, or enough time to get projects done by the end of the year. But if I know their schedules and work around it, I can get the same amount of work done–just in a shorter time frame.
For me, it is tricky because the holiday season is the most profitable time of year for my businesses. Creating consistent content is a huge part of my business, so I try to double down and create more than I think possible the months leading up to the holiday season, so I can schedule posts and not have to worry about missing a few days of work for holiday celebrations.
With so much going on during the holiday season, it can be hard to actually buckle down and work. Therefore, a crucial element of remaining profitable is to make a work schedule and stick to it. Have your personal phone separate from your work one so that you are not distracted by personal communication, and limit your errands and chores to after-work hours. If your kids have vacation time but you have work to get done, organize either a play date or a babysitter so that you have enough space to work.
1) You’ll want to make your business as inviting and enticing to shoppers as possible. That means it’s time to decorate and add festive touches to the space! A few areas to consider in your decor scheme may include window and product displays, lighting, and music. You may even add scents like peppermint and gingerbread throughout your storefront. Get your entire team involved in the process, too. Make it a fun team-building activity to deck the halls with one and all!
2) No matter how busy you may be, make sure you and your team know that this is your company’s time to shine and to provide excellent customer service. Pay attention to the overall customer experience. Remember names of frequent shoppers, offer complimentary gift wrapping and shipping, and provide free sample products with purchases. Be ready and prepared to help out and embrace the holiday spirit to the fullest with a friendly, can-do attitude.
Note From Leslie
Because people are spending money during the holidays, it can be a lucrative time of year for your business if you can cater to the holiday buying crowd. But even if you can’t, it’s important not to slack off during the holidays. While it is important to have breaks or vacation, most businesses can’t afford to be ignored for two months. My tips to keeping up your momentum and income are:
- Making a plan and a schedule, and sticking to both. Both insure you’re making the most the most of your time while you are working, and are focused on the tasks that are the most important.
- Reuse or recycle past content or marketing. If you’re a blogger, this is a good time to update or repurpose old posts. You can do the same with your marketing materials. Finding ways to reuse something you’ve already done saves time.
- Work ahead. If you know you’ll be taking time off, work ahead so you don’t fall behind.
- Delegate work. Have your family help where they can during the holidays. They can clean and decorate the house. You can hire a freelance virtual assistant to help with work.
- Automate when possible. If you’re not using automation tools, it’s a good time to start. For example, I love Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest and Hootsuite for everything else (Tailwind does integrate with Hootsuite, but I schedule my pins through the Tailwind dashboard).