Get Through the Holiday with These Stress Relieving Tips
Many entrepreneurs, business owners, and e-commerce website owners overextend themselves during the holidays and end up running on fumes the entire time. Many of them, like yourself, are the sole decision makers, employees, and operators who always want to be on top of how their businesses are performing during the holidays. And many small business owners or retail e-commerce website owners might feel as if they can’t take time off during the holidays because that’s when they’re expecting to generate most of their income for the year. So, they end up working long hours and stressing out much more than necessary.
However, there is a way to be diligent during the holidays without stressing out every minute of every day. Here are some things you can do as an entrepreneur and retail e-commerce website owner to curb stress during the holidays.
Be Extra Organized Well Before the Holidays Hit
A month or so before the holidays, get your calendar, budget, inventory, order fulfillment, shipping processes, marketing plans, etc. well organized. Be ready to handle multiple orders and ship them as quickly as possible. And know what’s happening with your business well before the holidays begin.
You’ll want to know when your holiday promotional offers will be advertised so that you can successfully process orders. Make sure you have more than enough inventory to ship and set up a backup plan for when your inventory is close to being depleted. You’ll want to process payments, shipping requests, and returns quickly, so that you can continue to follow your budget as closely as possible.
Overall, you can reduce stress by making sure that you have your business projections and expectations well organized and clearly marked before the holidays hit. Then you can stick to the plan and efficiently manage it.
Keep Regular Working and Operating Hours and Learn to Say No
Everyone is busy during the holiday season. You might be tempted to make concessions with your time to accommodate others. But if you make too many unsustainable changes to your schedule, you will quickly get burned out, stressed out, and sleep-deprived. You don’t ever want to set a precedent of working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not sustainable or efficient.
If you want your store to be open for one or two additional hours per day during the holidays, that’s one thing. But being available at all hours of the day is not advisable.
Never give your cell phone number to clients or customers during the holidays and don’t attend business meetings that are too far outside of your regular operating hours, either. Instead, clearly share your holiday hours on your website, your storefront, and in all your business communications. And don’t make exceptions with your hours unless it’s truly an emergency – such as a power outage or something else that must be immediately addressed.
If you find yourself needing to work an exorbitant number of hours during the holidays, consider hiring temporary part-time employees to help you out for a few months. And don’t be afraid to outsource.
Limit the Number of Holiday Events You Attend and Host
During the holidays, you’ll get invited to a lot of events and festivities. Whether they’re for your personal calendar or your business calendar, don’t try to go to everything you’re invited to. There are still only a set number of hours in a week. And don’t host more than one personal holiday event and one business-related holiday event each year. Otherwise, you will find yourself too stressed out to enjoy them.
Only Offer One or Two Special Holiday Offers
If you’re running a solo operation, don’t offer too many holiday specials or promotions that you’ll have to manage and keep track of during the holidays. They will quickly get stressful and time-consuming. Instead, see what your competitors are up to and focus on offering something different from their holiday promotions. This way you’ll stand out without having to conjure up more than one or two holiday offers. Read Creative Holiday Sales and Promotion Ideas [Note: insert link to this iPage post written by Content Writers] for more details.
Take Breaks Every Day and Rest
Taking periodic breaks allows you to stay focused and better mitigate stress. Whether you go out to lunch with friends, walk around your neighborhood park to see the holiday decor, or read a novel, do something each day for an hour or so that takes your mind away from your business. While this is hard to do at first, it is essential to remaining mentally sharp and positively motivated during the holidays. Make sure you step away from your computer screen and business meetings periodically throughout the day, every day. Set an alarm if you must. And get enough sleep each night and maintain a healthy diet for the stamina you need each day.
In addition, don’t forget to carve out time to spend with your own family and friends during the holidays. Take a short vacation if you must. Spending quality time with loved ones is a great way to relieve stress and stay focused on what really matters, especially when things get hectic and stressful during the holidays.
Rely on Automated Tools and Platforms
Long gone are the days when we must do everything manually for our business. Make sure you’re relying on automated tools and platforms to process orders and payments, ship orders, track inventory and supplies, and handle customer questions and concerns. Don’t assume you need to personally handle each aspect of your business, or you will get stressed out and overextended.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help during the holidays when you need it most. Hire an expert to help manage operations if that isn’t your strong suit. If you’re not great with producing marketing materials and strategies, rely on marketing experts to help you. You can also hire a virtual assistant during the holidays to help with administrative tasks. Consider hiring temporary staff to help run your brick and mortar store. And so on.
Give Back to Your Employees and Community
One of the best ways to alleviate stress during the holidays is to remember what the holiday season is all about: giving and spending quality time with others you care about. If you can, host a holiday party for your employees and offer them incentives and bonuses, especially if they’re working hard to help your business earn more revenue. Offer them holiday concert tickets or do something thoughtful, like hosting a food drive at your business. Whatever you decide to do, when you give back to others over the holidays, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters.
If you find yourself stressed out this holiday season, keep the tips above in mind to remain relaxed, productive, and profitable.