The holiday season is upon us but, if you’re a small business owner, odds are you’ve already been preparing for weeks. After spending countless days getting ready, it can be hard for small business owners to put their plans into action while coping with the rush of customers and the increase in demands.
1. Double-check your plan.
If you’ve spent weeks coming up with your holiday business plan, you already have a good idea of what you want to accomplish and how you expect to get there. A lot of this has to be done weeks ahead of time so running through a checklist to take stock of what you’re already done is helpful at alleviating anxiety.
Do you know how you will handle returns? If you ship, when is the last day customers can place an order guaranteed for holiday delivery? Do your new seasonal employees know how to deal with customer complaints?
This not only reminds you of the hard work and planning that you’ve already done but it also helps you figure out if there’s anything you missed.
It’s hard to tear yourself away from your business when things are hectic but getting out for a run or even a quick walk every day really helps manage stress and anxiety. It helps you burn off some of the tension and distracts you from your thoughts, if only for a short time.
3. Let yourself take a break.
Small business owners usually play multiple roles in their business which makes it really hard to slow down. The holiday rush is something you have to keep pushing through and you already know it’s going to mean a lot of late nights and early starts.
But you’re not a machine and you do need to stop and take some time to reset. You may not be able to take a whole day off but you can take a long lunch break or leave early every so often to get the space and breathing room you need to stay sane.
If you have a hard time doing this, plan it into your schedule. Write it down in your calendar that you’ll be leaving early on this day or taking a long lunch on that one. Make it a point to keep this window of time free and give yourself permission to take a break.
4. Don’t try to do everything on your own.
It’s hard to take time away from your business and personal commitments and responsibilities are often put off to focus on work. Be honest with your friends and family about what they can expect from you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Be upfront about how much time you’re going to have to spend away from home and be clear about your availability for social engagements. If you need help with things like house cleaning, groceries, or making sure your dog gets taken for a walk in the evening, ask. Not having to worry about these things eliminates a source of stress and you might get more help than you expected.
5. Believe in what you’ve already accomplished.
Trust that the preparations and planning you did before the holidays are enough. In the peak of holiday stress, it’s easy to doubt the process and obsess over what you could have done differently. But micromanaging and constantly worrying about the things that can go wrong only makes your anxiety worse. Besides, once the holiday rush has arrived, it’s too late to go back and change the plan. You just have to roll with it.
Any opinions are those of Thomas Fleishel and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.