As much as we love our work, we’re usually at our happiest when we’re taking a well-deserved break.  We’ll all want to take some time off over the Christmas and New Year period so that we can enjoy moments together with our families and friends.

The reality is, however, that for many of us, it’s impossible to disappear for the whole of December.  We’d lose out on profit, clients and our reputation.

Image Credit: Holiday Cheer, John Morgan, Flickr

Getting the balance between work and life is challenging as it is, but the festive period can make things even more difficult if you’re running a business and trying to entertain too!
If you’re expecting a busy Christmas this year, why not take steps now to ensure that neither your family nor your business will suffer?

Prepare your marketing strategy now

Large corporations have already started their Christmas marketing and advertising campaigns.  They have big budgets of course, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start now too.

If you have an e-commerce website, your customers will be spending heavily on last minute gifts. This presents a great opportunity to boost sales.  Can you create special promotions or discount deals?  Or can you create a buzz with some fun competitions?

It can also be a stressful time of the year too, so don’t forget to think about how you can make your customers’ spending experience as seamless as possible.  This might include free postage, special gift wrapping, or a gift delivery service.  Anything which helps them to buy quickly with a smile on their face will ensure they’ll come back for more long after the festive period.

And if you’re a service provider, be sure to have a clear idea of your clients’ work schedule for Christmas and New Year, so that you can manage their workload efficiently.  You wouldn’t want to be rushing to complete a project late at night on Christmas Eve!

Keep the home-fire burning

Business owner mums, plan ahead now for an extra pair of helping hands, both for your business and around the home.

For example, if you have routine administrative tasks, why not outsource these to a Virtual Assistant over the festive period so that you can have some breathing space away from the business for a few days.  This could also be an opportunity to reassess the efficiency of your business, and plan ahead for New Year goals.

Or if you work from home, have you planned how you will work around your children if necessary, when they’re off school?   You may need to work for short time slots during the day, as opposed to trying to cram in whole days.  This will help you cope with the occasional, inevitable interruptions while you work.  But do set deadlines for work each day and then afterwards, resolve to keep your phone on silent and your computer off.

Above all else, make the most of your time with your loved ones and enjoy a well-deserved break!

Are you expecting a busy Christmas?  What other tips would you add?
Published Wednesday January 9, 2013

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