After 7 years of experiencing Christmas within my own brands as well as working for other independent businesses. I wanted to share my experiences with you for a hopefully smooth, less stressful festive period. I have put together this short guide with my 5 top tips on managing the mad busy season that is, Christmas.
- Managing customer expectations
Good communication and managing expectations are key all year round but more so throughout the festive period. Keep your customers updated with your dispatching days, when they’re likely to receive their order and if you have any delays. Especially this year with the proposed Royal Mail strikes. Maybe make a graphic for social media that you can share often explaining the strike dates.
- Set some boundaries for yourself to avoid becoming overwhelmed and burnt out
It’s so easy to work well into the night at Christmas when you’re busy. Set yourself making, dispatching and admin days. Schedule time in your week for getting outside for fresh air, ask for some help if you’re struggling with orders and have an auto responder on your emails explaining your working hours.
- Looking after your mental health
Christmas time for small business owners is often so hectic that it’s easy to not put ourselves first. We end up not eating healthily, not getting outside, exercising or not sleeping properly. Schedule in time to do the things that make you happy for some self care; walk in nature, see your friends and batch cook some healthy meals for those busy days when you’re short on time. Maybe you could also book in a treat for when you have sent all of your orders?
- Prep, prep and more prep whilst you’re still quiet.
You will be so grateful to yourself when you hit Christmas madness if you have prepped all you can beforehand. Making up boxes, ordering stock/ packaging, stamping envelopes and batch making in advance all help. Streaming admin tasks help too; have email templates ready to answer your FAQs, write out any marketing emails, create graphics for socials and schedule them in.
- Last but not least; your own Christmas celebrations.
Often as a small business owner you are so busy with making sure your customers have their gifts that you leave your own until the last minute. If you celebrate, think about what you can do now to make sure you have the festivities you want. You could write your cards, start buying gifts to put away, get your Christmas food delivery slot booked and plan in some time for festive activities with your friends and family. You need to have a lovely time too!
I hope you found these tips useful. What are your top tips? I'd love to know in the comments below.