For small business owners who are parents, the last month and a half of the year are even busier than usual. Not only is there work, the year to finish out and regular activities, but throw in holiday gatherings, holiday shopping, both work and neighborhood parties, present wrapping, cooking, baking, school plays, and often – traveling to see family. Wait, I am forgetting something. Oh right, let’s not forget winter break and/or day care closure or vacation time for nannies.
Stack the abundance of stuff to do and places to be during the holiday season with the least possible childcare options available thrown on top of end of the year responsibilities as small business owners, and I smell something burning in the kitchen…literally and figuratively.
During this time of year, it is even more important to have a plan in order to avoid an explosion (and I do not mean an explosion in sales or leads).
Here is a quick list of ways to keep both your business and apple pie from getting burned during the holiday season:
- Make Sure Your Embers Burning Slowly. Although your plate is extremely full with a million household items, keep your business spark alive. Set aside very specific times to work and intersperse small chunks of time to check off holiday items. Leave an hour at lunch to run holiday-related errands or wrap presents. Scheduling the holiday stuff in allows you to put it in the back of your head on concentrate on work during work time with peace of mind that everything will get done.
- Have an Escape Plan. With days off school around Thanksgiving and winter closures, have a place you can go to get some work accomplished when kids are home. More than likely there are neighborhood kids home from college that want to make a little extra money babysitting or family visiting who want to spend some time with the kiddos. Take advantage of a few hours of help and head to a local coffee shop or your office and knock a few work-related items out of the way.
- Keep Emergency Supplies Nearby. I store a few kid-friendly items like a doodling pad and markers, electronic game, and a few board games in my office closet. These are for the times that I must have my kids in my office or they are wanting to hang close by. If a call comes through, I hand off a much-needed supply and take advantage of a few minutes of quiet.
- Turn off the Gas When You are Done. Just like we turn the oven off when we are done cooking or unplug the coffee maker, when we are finished working and it is time to enjoy the holidays with the family, we must unplug, too. Make sure to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest and be in the moment with your family, it will make you all the more refreshed to get back to work when it is all over.
The holidays are a wonderful time of togetherness and celebration, but also a time to reflect and making resolutions for the new year whether it be starting a business (incorporating, forming an LLC or simply registering a business name) or taking your existing business to the next level. Make sure to enjoy them all while feeling peace of mind about your business. Then, there is the wonderful prospect of the new year and new projects on the horizon!