Some small business owners in New York can hardly keep apace with the holiday rush; other businesses slow down to a near crawl during this time of the year. So how do you make the most of the season, regardless of which end of the spectrum you're on?
Plan Wisely, plan ahead:
If you know you're going to be ultra-busy during the holidays, it's never too early to start figuring out what kind of seasonal help you'll need and prepping your current staff to take on the challenge. If you can't afford to give employees whatever holiday vacation they want, make sure you have a system that's fair to everyone for deciding who gets time off. On the other hand, if your business is the type that slows down during the holiday season, start thinking about how you might take advantage of the down time, perhaps by tackling a necessary but time consuming project that's been on the back burner, offering a professional training, or overhauling your company's mission and vision.
Find ways to show gratitude:
The holidays are a good time to reflect on what we're grateful for, and that includes loyal employees and customers. Harness the spirit of the season and let those who make your business a success know how much they're appreciated. Show your gratitude by sending a card or giving a small gift, hosting a holiday party or open house, or just expressing a heartfelt, personal "thanks."
Think like a customer:
Before you scale back employee hours or production, consider your customers. What kind of service or support might they need during the holidays? What could you have in place that would make them feel like they really matter? If your business usually picks up during the holidays, amp up your customer service and attention to detail so that no important orders fall through the cracks.
Relax and enjoy the season:
For a small business, productivity is always the goal; but that doesn't mean you can't loosen up every once in awhile. If it's a slow time of year, give yourself and your employees permission to have a little fun, celebrate, and not work so hard. If your business gets busier, it's even more important to relax, find the humor, and stay calm when things start to go wrong.
Remember: A holiday is just another day on the calendar, and the season will be over before you know it. Whatever your business's unique circumstance, use the season to your advantage and let it propel you towards a fresh, new year.
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