The holidays are almost here! Shopping, decorating, and holiday parties are in full swing, making this truly the most festive and special time of year. But, it can be hard to keep your spirits up while also meeting the modern demands of life and business!
The holiday season can be incredibly stressful, especially for small business owners. There’s so much pressure to get everything done in a timely manner while still keeping a happy face! Need some help getting through the season with less stress? Follow these five tips!
Make Sure Your Notifications are On
More people are shopping now than at any other time of the year. If you run your business primarily online, missing a message or comment notification could mean missing out on a sale!
Don’t get me wrong - you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to answer a message the second it comes in. But, you should always respond as soon as you can. If you only check your business messages once per day, someone who messaged you at 8 AM may have moved on by the time you respond at 6 PM!
Turn your Facebook and Instagram notifications on so you’ll know exactly when you have messages you need to answer. Even if you’re not available at the moment, try to respond as soon as possible once you are.
Take Your Time - And Keep Some for Yourself!
During the season of giving, you might feel obligated to take care of everyone else’s needs before your own. But, you can only function at your peak if you’re taking a little time for yourself!
Remember - you don’t have to get everything done all at once. After a day spent shopping, don’t rush home to start wrapping presents or decorating the tree. Plan out your holiday schedule. Do one or two holiday-related activities per day, and save the others for the next!
Getting enough sleep, eating right, and even taking a short walk can do wonders for your mental health during this time. There’s enough to do to last you throughout the entire month, and I find that taking my time with holiday planning really makes the season more special.
Balance Your Personal and Professional Life
Just like a brick-and-mortar business, you should feel okay setting hours for both business and personal time. Plan out each day so you know when you’ll be spending time on your own holiday planning, and when you’ll be available to clients and customers.
Announcing your “business hours” on your page each day can help ease any stress or guilt you have about taking time off. Most people are in the same boat during this time of year, and communication goes a long way. If you know you’re getting your Christmas tree at 1 PM on Saturday, for example, let your followers know.
Post an update on your Facebook page or Instagram Story, and let everyone know you’ll be back online later that day. People are much more understanding when they know you didn’t miss their message - you’re just off the clock right now!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
A lot of people pride themselves on how they plan and execute their holiday season. But, you don’t have to do everything yourself!
A big part of this season is spending time with your loved ones. Ask your partner, kids, or grandkids to help you with decorating the house, baking cookies, or even some shopping! Not only will this take a lot off your plate, but it’ll also make it more enjoyable and help you create memories that will last a lifetime.
Let’s be honest - you probably won’t remember spending hours by yourself getting everything just right. But, you will remember the little moments you spend with those closest to you. Whether it’s through pictures of oddly-shaped cookies or sneaking off in the department store to find the perfect gift for your shopping buddy, these are the times you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Schedule Your Business Content in Advance
Running a business during the holidays is stressful, especially when you’re doing it alone. With everything going on in your personal life, your professional life may take a seat on the back burner.
There’s nothing worse than the anxiety that comes from spending a whole week focused on the holidays, only to realize you haven’t even looked at your business pages! The holidays are vital for small businesses, so you need to stay on top of your online content.
The easiest way to make sure you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s is to schedule your content in advance. Thankfully, both Facebook and Instagram make this a breeze with Creator Studio.
Creator Studio is a tool for Facebook and Instagram business pages that allows you to schedule posts, stories, and more to post automatically at a specific time. Just sit down for an hour or two, creating your posts as you usually would. The only difference? Don’t publish them now - schedule them to post on a later date!
Before you start using this tool, take a few hours to plan a “content calendar.” Ideally, you’ll want to schedule 2-3 posts per week. Add some personal content to form a relationship with your current followers, and focus the rest on your business to attract new ones! Choose dates and times for each post, then use Creator Studio to schedule each. This way, you’ll know you’re still keeping up with your regular content without manually posting each day.
Remember, this isn’t a practice that has to end after the holidays! Scheduling your content in advance is something that can save you time all year long.
Stress Less: Streamline Your Holidays!
The holidays should be a fun, stress-free time for everyone. However, we all know that just isn’t the case at times!
Fortunately, there are many ways you can make the holidays more enjoyable. Take your time, ask for help, and communicate with your customers. When you have a good plan of action, this time of year can be as enjoyable as it’s meant to be.