The holidays are in full swing and with the frenzy of Black Friday shopping over, Christmas is moving toward us at a rapid speed. Small business owners and employees can feel the season escalating as client’s last minute requests pour in and projects schedule to launch before the first of the year. This momentum can generate a fair amount of stress for small business owners and employees alike.
As I was scouring Twitter for some advice on avoiding holiday stress I stumbled upon great post from Mehrunisa Qayyum, blog contributor to the Huffpost Small Business. Her article, “Small Business Tips for Holiday Stress” includes four tips for December that are practical on both a professional and personal level.
Review all your invoices for the fiscal year. Send out all “Past-Due” notices one last time. Your accountant will thank you in March 2013. Your mind will also thank you in averting unnecessary stress.
Take this time to complete that webinar for your professional excellence. In fact, if your business offers professional coaching or skills workshops, this is actually the best time to host a PERSONALIZED session because clients will more likely remember your services in January as they make resolutions to get better, do better, or improve their routines. That is why I partnered with a fitness studio for a monthly workshop to teach business tips followed by forty-five minutes of yoga.
Give clients space. Most of your client pool will be traveling and sorting through non-work related stress. Tweet their business link as a free marketing push for them. Remembering their business interests while they are stressed will not go unnoticed. There is no point in introducing a new idea or service to them. Rather, tackle that brainstorming task. But first, catch up on your sleep. Then, GO on that one hour run/walk WITHOUT your phone in the pocket. A creative approach or new idea is more likely to pop up without business operations preoccupying your mind and DEFINITELY with sleep. You are three times more likely to find a short-cut to certain problems with the magical eight hours of sleep than with the magical eight-ball.
Week four should kick off the new year. Ping all prospective clients with a hello and reminder that in these lean times, your small business can address their concerns without all the phone tag. Remind them the value of your complimentary offer.
These tips are great, but I would add one more idea to the mix: Remember to appreciate the team around you. In small business, projects usually require several people on staff to them pull together. Let your employees know you appreciate their hard work, and their perspective on the upcoming year will brighten!