Keeping Your Cool When Holiday Business Gets Hot by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Many businesses see an increase in sales over the holiday season. Even businesses that are not directly involved in retail sales can see an increase in demand at this time of year. While additional revenue and work are always positive, it is also a time when business owners and managers can become overwhelmed with the potential chaos of the season.

To help to stay calm and in control over the holidays, there are a few simple tips to integrate into your planning and your daily activities. These tips are also a great option to share with employees, supervisors, and managers, helping the entire business to just take a deep breath and stay focused.

  • Self-care – self-care involves setting time aside to take care of you. This may include taking a walk at lunch and getting away, committing to eating meals with the family every day, making the break room a “work-free zone” or even finding 10 minutes during the workday to meditate, read a book, or do something you enjoy that is not work-related. Eating healthy, balanced meals and getting sleep are also important aspects of maintaining mental and physical energy.
  • Review policies with staff – as a part of weekly or daily meetings, make sure the staff is aware of all policies and procedures. This ensures a consistent message to customers and preventing conflicts that can drain your time and your energy.
  • Delegate – you know your team, and you know who is good at specific aspects of the business. This is a time of year to delegate and spread the responsibility around to proven leaders within your organization. By ensuring the staff knows the person to go to with a problem you are not overwhelmed with all issues.
  • Be proactive – if you are expecting orders or are working with suppliers, be proactive and follow up to verify delivery. This provides you with the heads up if there is a problem, allowing you to source elsewhere or to have clear information to provide to your customers.
  • Prioritize – make lists and provide information to people in written form, so it is clear and precise. Then, give your staff the responsibility to carry out those activities without the need to micromanage. Often entrepreneurs and small business owners add to the stress of the season by trying to change how things are done to accommodate for the increased business. This tends to create problems rather than resolve issues.

Finally, and this is very important, be realistic about what you can do and what is too much. Becoming bogged down in one issue at this time of year is a common source of stress, so use a team approach and call on others as needed