Maybe you read this title and thought: I don’t have time to read that. I’m too stressed! If you are, take a moment and read this anyway. If you can cut down on your stress levels not only are you less likely to get ill this holiday season, you’ll enjoy it more.
Come on. It will only take 3 minutes. Think of it as an investment in your business.
Stress is almost inevitable during the holiday. And businesses that do large sales during this time will either be stressed because they’re doing a great amount or they’ll worry because they’re not doing enough. Don’t run yourself down and risk injury or sickness. If you’re sick or exhausted, you’ll only be more stressed. Try these tips for reducing stress instead.
Use Easy Tech
Even if you’re not an early adopter, there’s plenty of easy, free or low-cost tech, that can help simplify your life. For instance, you need to be scheduling most of your social media and blog posts. You can use auto-responders to set expectations of when you will get back to someone with a question. You can even use If This Than That (IFTTT) to combine “if, then” actions for your desired results like making sure your home is toasty warm by the time you get there or that every post to Twitter gets added to your Facebook group.
Cover Your Bases
As much as tech can be a way to streamline your tasks it can also prove frustrating. That’s why for some activities it’s best to have a backup plan. With the exception of your website, never rely totally on one site, social media platform, or app to do everything for you. Create some redundancies and back-ups, at least with your data. The person who came up with the old saying about putting all of your eggs in one basket probably understood very clearly the dangers of not backing up important info and activity history.
Have Goals for the Holiday Season
Every business should have goals for the holiday season. But just as important are listing the tasks or small measurables that will help you achieve the goals. Many businesses simply state what they want to earn during the holidays, but then they fail to assess what it will take each day to get there. That leaves them wondering until the end whether they will make it or not.
Instead, break down your goals into daily, achievable tasks. You’ll know very quickly if you’re not where you should be. Plus, you’ll know if you’re falling behind while you still have time to do something about it.
Take Time for Yourself
It’s hard to think about taking time off at the holidays, especially if it’s your busy season. If you can’t spare a few days, try to take a few hours. If that’s not possible, use the time you do have at home (no matter how minimal) to carve out moments to regroup. Do something you find pleasurable during that time and practice enjoying it. Don’t be thinking about everything at your business that must be done. Take a few deep breaths and concentrate on them. Enjoy the Christmas lights. Take a walk. Whatever activity you choose, be there; not at the business.
If you need to, hire extra help for the holidays. Your chamber of commerce has a good idea of those in your community looking for work. Let them know you need help and they can put you in touch with those people who can assist you and your business.
From Thanksgiving to Christmas there’s a battle that occurs for consumer dollars. The big guy against the little guy, the brick-and-mortar versus the online retailer, everyone is looking for a bigger piece of the pie. It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, chances are you're doing some sort of decorating for the holidays. Even if you don't celebrate, it's likely your customers do so in order to spread the holiday cheer you get festive.
The same should be true of your website. While you don't need to decorate per se, you do need to prepare for holiday traffic. Even if what you do or sell has nothing to do with Christmas, people often turn to the internet or online solutions during the holiday season. Plus, if you run a business that helps people prepare for the holidays, even if just peripherally, you want to make sure your website is ready. Here's how you can go about doing that:
Okay, so this might not be a “secret” weapon, but email marketing can help extend the push to shop small that began on Small Business Saturday. These types of gentle reminders can keep customers buying from you all season (and all year) long. You just need a couple of great ideas, an email marketing tool (like MailChimp or Constant Contact), and of course an email list.
Concern over the holiday shopping season is one that's looming large on most business owners’ minds. Will it be a good one? Can it be so good that it makes up for a disappointing spring and summer? If you're concerned about these things, you're not alone. And there are things you can do to make your business sales this holiday season better, even if you don’t have a lot of time.