Running your own business and being an entrepreneur are stressful enough, but add in the holiday season and it can get overwhelming, fast.
If your to-do list looks like mine, you’ve got to make travel plans, buy gifts, organize dinner parties and keep your business running at the same time. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
And as much as I want to, it’s not the time to give up. Because if you do it right, it could be one of your most profitable times of the year – for revenue, acquiring new clients and gaining new found confidence.
But you’ve got to be on top of our game to make the most of the opportunities:
1. Resist the urge to offer holiday sales
During the holiday season, it’s difficult for any small business owner or freelancer to pass up putting all their products and services on sale. But if you don’t do it in a strategic way, you could forfeit a lot of good customers and possibly alienate the ones you have.
“Offering a sale ‘just because’ isn’t necessarily bad, but you do risk watering down the value of what you offer by being overly-willing to slash the price. Think about the message that’s sending.”
– Dana Leavy of Aspyre Solutions
You want to make sure that the holiday promotion offers a lot of value to the client and to you. For instance, you can make your customers feel extra special by offering a “50% off code on next purchase” for repeat buyers only.
This shows you value your product(s) and want to reward your best customers at the same time. You want to always portray that you and your brand are worth it, and that you’re not a discount store with cheap products.
2. Lean on your support group
Thankfully, many entrepreneurs have very supportive friends and family. But instead of leaning on them to vent or gripe about your problems, find someone who can offer guidance to your specific situation.
Not only do more experienced entrepreneurs make great listeners, they know exactly what to say to put your mind (and stress) at ease.
There will always be someone out there that has overcome more or learned more than you. But if you add them to your support group, they will understand exactly where you’ve been and can totally relate.
3. Get out and exercise more
It’s been proven that more exercise will not only relieve stress but help you make more money. And with all the spending happening during this time of year, who doesn’t want to increase their revenue?
It’s also an excellent way to clear your mind and get the endorphins flowing. Every time I exercise, I brainstorm new ideas and come up with problem solving solutions.
Sometimes you just need to get out and breath the fresh air! Making time to exercise each day is good for your body, mind and bank account.
4. Just say NO
Saying NO to a potential business opportunity is hard, especially for me. Just a few months ago, while I was rapidly building my freelance biz, my motto was to say YES more. But when it comes time for the holidays, if you take on too much, you’ll spread yourself too thin.
“There’s a direct correlation between diluted focus and a diluted bank account.”
– Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan
It’s important to say no to jobs that don’t bring enough of a ROI (return on investment) whether that’s money, connections, contacts or experience.
Spend your time on the part of your business that brings in the most revenue, while using the least amount of resources. There will be plenty of other expenses tugging at your wallet during this time of year – don’t add extra stress to it.
5. Make time for yourself and others
Running a business is hard work, but it’s important to find time to relax and take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to take a nap if you need one, refuel with a cup of coffee or get away for the weekend.
Take time for yourself and your business by thinking about someone else for a change (even if that someone is you). After all, this time of year is supposed to be centered on your friends, family and being thankful for all you have. You’ll come back to your work with a new sense of purpose and ready to be productive.
What’s one way you’re reducing stress during this hectic holiday season?