With the holidays swiftly approaching, many folks are getting swept up in the spirit—and stress!—of the season. If you feel like the last month of the year suddenly requires a significant change of pace, you’re not alone. Some small business owners will spend the next few weeks in a chaotic dash to the end of the year, while others will feel like all their work is coming to a standstill. Whatever your NJ small business faces this December, we have some tips for surviving the holiday season and feeling confident and refreshed for the new year.
1. Prepare for Supplier and Shipping Delays
The last month of the year typically sees a lot of shipping delays. Consumers are purchasing and shipping holiday gifts and decorations at a significantly increased rate. Shipping companies can only do so much with this increased volume, and you may find your regular deliveries delayed. Plan for this by getting your supplies sooner than you think you need them to compensate for delays. Reach out to vendors early if you require goods or a service, as they may also need extra time to receive supplies.
At the same time, be honest with your customers. If you frequently ship goods to customers, explain that there will likely be shipping delays. Encourage your clients to order earlier than usual to accommodate longer shipping times.
2. Don’t Feel Pressured to Discount
It seems like all the big stores run Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts throughout November and December these days. While those big corporations can manage these heavy discounts at this time of year, you need to be realistic about your prices. A small business typically has a smaller margin for price changes. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with these big retail giants. Stick to prices that are fair and benefit your business. Utilize social media to encourage your community to remember to shop local this holiday season.
3. Manage Your Time Wisely
You have a lot of responsibility as an NJ small business owner. Running a small business is demanding. At the same time, the holiday season tends to require a lot of time, money, and social capital. Gatherings with family and friends, gift buying, decorating, cooking—it can become another full-time job on top of your small business responsibilities. You don’t want to be the Scrooge trudging through the holidays. Still, you need to devote time and energy to your business.
The key to getting through this balancing act without pulling your hair out is to manage your time wisely. Determine your holiday hours and prepare customers for any closings. Focus on work that needs to get done now and accept that some things will simply need to be addressed in January.
4. Take Breaks and Set Boundaries
You might not think you can afford it, but acknowledging your limits and setting boundaries is essential for your mental health. Take breaks when you can to do what you love at this time of year. Maintaining traditions and enjoying your time outside work is vital to feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your next year as a small business owner. Establish boundaries with your employees and customers. You work hard all year. You deserve to enjoy this time of year with your loved ones when you can.
Now is a great time to reflect on your year. Recognize your wins, plan for the New Year, and enjoy the holiday season as much as possible—you’ve earned it!