How to Prepare Your Business for the Holidays
It's almost time. Halloween is past and the holidays are going to be running at us full speed. This year I plan to take a couple weeks away from work and clients and deadlines. Here's how you can prepare your business for the busy holiday season and maybe take some time off yourself.
01. Check Your Calendar
Decide if you're planning on taking time off for the holidays or if you plan to work through them. I like taking at least a couple weeks away from the site to spend time with family. Being a service-based business, we don't get much traffic or sales during this time anyway, so we decided a couple years ago that our time is best spent off.
However, you might be a product based business that sees a huge spike in holiday sales - odds are you want to keep your business open for at least most of December.
Regardless of what you decide, here are some tasks to get done now (in November), so that your holidays are a little less frantic:
Pre-write blog posts and schedule them Ahead of time
Schedule social media posts
If you're not posting new content during the holiday, it can be hard to find things to post about. Here are some ideas to fill your social calendar:
- Announce any holiday promotions
- Ask holiday themed questions
- Share holiday themed quotes and photos
- Announce your holiday hours
- Create "gift" boards on Pinterest
- Share a holiday "thank you" video
Prep an email auto responder to answer common questions
If you don't know how to set this up, here's a quick tutorial in gmail:
Get client or employee gifts purchased and ready to send out
Gift cards, books or subscriptions are perfect gifts for your team! We like sending out little $10 Starbucks gift cards just to let people know we appreciate their work and to wish them Merry Christmas.
02. Give Your Clients & Customers a heads up
Let everyone know if you're taking time off. This is best done as early as possible to avoid confusion, frustration, and last-minute requests. We generally skip booking clients during the month of December anyway.
Here's a quick email script you can use to keep things simple and sweet:
I wanted to email you and let you know about (company name)'s holiday calendar and policies. We like to give our clients and team some time off to travel, spend time with family, and relax. We will be "closed" from (date) to (date) to allow us all a little break. We will be completing all necessary projects over the remaining weeks, so please keep in communication with us and let me know how we can help you prep for this break.
Thanks for your patience and have a happy holiday season,
We're sending out our emails next week, so make sure you do this soon enough to address any responses or projects.
03. Wrap Up Your Projects
If you do decide to take some time off, odds are (if you're anything like me), you'll still have a couple days of work during the break. All those little tweaks you've been meaning to make to your site - do them during the holiday! Look at some of your projects that have been on the back-burner for the last few months and consider completing some of them!
Our team is going to be working on some long needed formatting and editing of our past blog posts as well as updating our ecourses. Talk to your team and see what their schedules are and find a way to fit in a couple small projects so that you can start the new year with a fresh plate.
04. Plan for the New Year!
Figure out when you'll be returning and how the rest of your year will look. We have a team meeting a few days before our break begins to discuss plans for the new year and start looking forward to upcoming projects. We plan everything in Asana so that we all have a clear picture of the projects coming up. (Read all about Asana on the ProBlog). We also finish planning our content for the new year in CoSchedule (read the Content Plan on the ProBlog), so that we can hit the ground running when we get back from our vacations.