The holiday shopping season is in full swing. Within three days, we saw Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. The reports so far show that American consumers are spending money this year. Although that is obviously good for business owners, this time of year does bring a lot of stress along with it. Here at National Business Capital, we want to see our customers be successful in every way so we spoke with many business owners and asked them how they handle the stress of the holidays.
Careful planning was the number one response we received. For some businesses this means ensuring enough stock on hand to fill orders. For others, it means scheduling changes to accommodate holiday shopping hours or holiday parties. Planning was not limited to the business. Many business owners also mentioned that careful planning in their personal life helped avoid scheduling conflicts, child care gaps, and loss of sleep.
Don’t take it all on yourself. Delegate! Many business owners said that they felt they needed to take on most of the extra tasks themselves so they did not overwhelm or burn out their employees. While it is a good idea to take care of your employees, you also have to take care of yourself. This is where planning ahead can make a big difference. Spread tasks out over time. Schedule just a few extra hours for each employee every few days instead of marathon shifts. Depending upon your business, you may even be able to utilize interns or volunteers for some of the holiday tasks.
If your business increases greatly during the holidays or you have much extended hours, hire temporary staff. Plan ahead for the expense and plan which tasks will be best completed by seasonal help. The extra expense may well be worth the stellar service your customers receive and the gratitude your permanent employees feel.
Remember this is your holiday season too. Make the time to celebrate. This might mean a quick coffee with good company during a slow time for the business. Or maybe waking up a little early and going out for breakfast before a crazy day. If you wait to go out to dinner, you may not be able to make it.
Before we know it, the holidays will be over and we will be discussing the January blues. Enjoy the fun of the holidays as well as the extra business they bring. We know that at National Business Capital we will be planning to enjoy our holidays too!