Survive the Holidays: 4 Tips for Small Business Owners

It’s here: the bustling, frantic time of year that can mean big profits for some retailers, but also big headaches.

Here are some tips for small business owners, so that they can manage the stress of a busy season.

1. Tune out

Do only one thing at a time and give it your full attention. Filter out the noise, whether it’s inter-office friction, compounding what-ifs and worst-case scenarios, or your digital life. It might be a good time to unplug, check email less often, and give yourself a break. Don’t feel guilty for checking out early, everything will still be there when you get back.

2. Set boundaries

If you’re the owner of a small business, chances are you run yourself pretty thin most times of the year. Now is the season to set some serious boundaries for yourself so you don’t get too overloaded. Delegate responsibilities to savvy partners and employees, and be sure to just say no to some things. Don’t take on too much, and be realistic about how much you can single-handedly accomplish during this busy time. Be sure to carve out plenty of breathing room: the holiday season can tend to drag things out, so spacious blocks of time will come in handy when you’re smashed in between teenage sisters testing out a multitude of fragrances at Macy’s.

3. Do your best

Chances are, especially if you’re a retailer, you’ve already initiated your plans for discounts, specials, and promotions over the holidays. If there are hiccups or things fail to run smoothly, it can feel extra climactic during this time of year. If you’re particularly perfectionistic, things can feel out of control and stress levels can peak. Remember all you can do is your best. Respond to customer concerns and maybe even alter your policies slightly to offer some leniency to buyers: the effort can go a long way in securing trust and building future business.

4. Find meaning

The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to step back and focus on what really matters. Seek out a purpose that can help lift your spirits and maybe volunteer or make charitable donations. In looking at the big stuff, you may also find that you want to cut some holiday hours to offer your employees a little more time with their families or throw a festive party to instill some togetherness.

Hopefully these four tips can help bring a little peace and calm to your season. Coupled with the promise of socially acceptable binges on simple carbohydrates and fine cheeses, you’ll make it through just fine.

Here at Forte, we’re all looking forward to our company holiday party in a couple of weeks. Hopefully someone will sing a little Hadaway and bring it back Roxbury-style. To stay updated on business quips, tips and news, follow us on Twitter.

Photo credit: Dylan Tweney

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