This time of year is always stressful for small-business owners. With the holiday season fast approaching, it may seem like more bad things than good are happening to your business (more customers, more orders, less personal time). But there are many things you can do to help your life’s personal and professional aspects remain balanced during this busy time of year. Here are nine ways to make the holidays less stressful for small-business owners:
1. Get Organized Now, Not Later
Getting organized is easier said than done. If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything on your plate this holiday season, now is the time to get started before you find yourself in a flurry of activity at work or home. There are many types of personal and professional organizers (i.e., software, smartphone apps) to help you stay on top of your work in addition to your private life.
2. Take Care of Your Employees
Your employees are invaluable resources, so make sure you show them how much they mean to the business by rewarding them with time off for good behavior (which does not necessarily equate to perfect performance). Giving time off for personal holidays will increase employee morale and satisfaction. This way, when it is crunch time near the end of the year, your team will be ready and willing to go above and beyond what is expected from them.
3. Create a Detailed Deadline Calendar
You can manage your deadlines by creating a detailed deadline calendar that includes personal and work-related tasks. Use personal holidays to help with personal deadlines, making the personal side of your life more manageable.
4. Invest in Personal Protection
Personal security is not only essential for personal safety, but it can improve your work life as well. If you can give personal protection policies to your employees, they will feel more secure in their personal lives and at work. This may reduce personal stress levels, increasing productivity in the workplace.
5. Plan Early for Peak Times
It may be too late to plan early for personal holiday shopping; however, it is never too early to know when you will need specific products or supplies for work. That way, you can request enough materials at one time, rather than making multiple trips (and driving yourself crazy). Inventory is another thing you should do now instead of putting it off until later this year (or next year) because the end-of-the-year holiday rush is one of the most profitable times of year for many small businesses that store and manufacture goods.
6. Delegate Tasks Where You Can
If personal activities take up too much of your time, it may be time to hire a personal assistant or delegate personal tasks to other family members. If you have employees, giving them additional responsibility will help everyone feel more involved while still keeping personal and professional lives separate. But if you do not have enough staff on board yet, consider outsourcing some personal or professional tasks that may become overwhelming this holiday season.
7. Be Open About Your Priority
When it comes to being open about your priority with customers, remember that there may be other customers waiting for your attention. So try not to get flustered should multiple customers want something at the same time. Or, you can ask for special treatment. You must remain calm during personal and professional peaks as much as you can.
8. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Remember that personal time is crucial, especially now. So make sure you take personal holidays (even if it means working on your personal business). Staying well-rested throughout the holiday season will help you maintain the balance you need between personal and professional life.
9. Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
You should keep personal emergency numbers on hand at all times so you can easily reach out to trusted personal or professional contacts when help is needed. This will prevent personal stress levels from reaching unnecessary heights, making personal holidays easier for yourself and your family.
Make Time for Yourself
Personal holidays are personal, so make time for yourself, even if it means personal sacrifices. Take some personal time to relax, enjoy personal hobbies or activities or spend personal time with family and friends that you have not seen in a while.
Personal and professional peaks may feel overwhelming, but you can do it. Take personal holidays to help with personal deadlines, invest in personal protection policies, plan early for peak times, delegate personal tasks where possible, and never forget to take care of yourself.