If you’re an employee, you probably already know what time off you’ve got over Christmas. If you don’t, you might want to have a word with the boss, it’s getting late!
It’s a bit different when you run your own business. You could, in theory, spend the whole year working if you wanted to. If you think that your business will collapse without you, read this and think again.
But what if you’re just itching to keep on working? I can sympathise. I wouldn’t have started my own business if I didn’t have a burning desire to do what I do. It’s a great idea to have your strategy in place so you can hit the ground running in the New Year.
That’s precisely why you need to take a Christmas holiday.
Are you looking forward to a few days off at Christmas? If you’re running a small business you might feel as if you can’t stop at all. I’m not going to tell you about the benefits of taking a break – that’s for another time.
If you know that there are things that need to be done over Christmas to keep your business going, that’s fine. However, if you want to make it through with your family still speaking to you, read on.
How are you? No, really. Are you OK? I know that Christmas is meant to be a time for celebration but it can all get a bit stressful, can’t it?
You’re trying to run a business or do your job, keep the house going and the kids fed as you normally would. Then there are Christmas presents to be found, cards to write before you even get to Christmas. Thankfully the only visitor we’ve got coming this Christmas is my Mum; she does washing up without being asked.
But if you’re wondering how you’re going to get it all done and make it to Christmas Day with your sanity intact, read on. This is for you.
When it comes to Christmas shopping there are three kinds of people. The ones who have it all done and wrapped up by October, the ones who leave it until Christmas Eve and the rest of us, who are somewhere in between.
If your business sells anything that could be given as a Christmas gift, this is going to be your busiest time of year. Hopefully the marketing you’ve done throughout the year will have paid dividends, but what else can you do?
Answer: target the last minute shoppers. They’ll be looking to make a quick decision and you can capitalise on that. But how do you do it without sounding desperate? Here’s how.
Are you taking time off over the Christmas holiday? I certainly am. It might be freezing but as long as it isn’t raining I’m happy. I’m partly Scottish so I partially subscribe to the idea that there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. My children may have to be wrapped up until they resemble mini Michelin men but we’ll definitely be going outside. Then of course we’ll have to have some hot chocolate to warm up again afterwards. It’s a tough job, but I’ll struggle through.
The thing is, as much as it might pain me to turn work away, I can if I want to. As far as I know all of my clients are off over Christmas. (OK, I’m crossing my fingers as I write that.) I’ve got enough control over my workload that I can do a few extra hours before the holiday to get myself up to date. I just have to make sure that people know when they can get hold of me.
But what if you have employees? Maybe you can’t just shut down for the Christmas break. There might be some tough decisions to be made but good communication should make it easier.
There’s no getting away from it – we’re well and truly into the office party season. The great thing about being a freelancer is that I don’t have to go to any work Christmas parties if I don’t want to. I could hold my own but it would just be me, pulling a cracker, on my own. Not exactly festive, I think you’ll agree. Luckily a couple of clients have invited me to theirs – sadly I can only get to one of them but it should be fun.
Of course, I’m mindful of the fact that I’m not an employee so I definitely have to be on my best behaviour. The last thing any of us want is to build relationships with clients only to have them wrecked because we had one too many sherries at the office do.
So what do you do if it’s your business and you’re the one hosting the Christmas party?