I get it.
The holidays are hard enough without adding the responsibility of building your own business. But, you can grow without having to be as hands-on as usual. Take out that board game and snuggle by the fire. With creativity, you will keep your business going and I can show you how.
5 Ways To Grow Your Business Over The Holidays
You must market this holiday. Full stop. Non-negotiable and no excuses.
Even if you are not meeting and phoning, creating or even available, you can’t afford to lose visibility within your market. Your secret is going to be automation and it is going to be daily without being a slave to your computer once your family schedule takes over. The three Ps is all you need.
Schedule your blog posts to go live according to a regular publishing calendar. Write now to relax later.
Using tools like Hootsuite is your key to scheduling you social media updates. Don’t lose your visibility with your audience while you are watching another holiday movie with the kids.
Write and schedule email updates to be distributed to your list while you are on holiday. Take advantage of the time you have now to write your top-of-mind pieces. Phones don’t get left at work over the holidays and people are sneaking peaks at email as often as they are sneaking cookies. Your credibility score will soar if you are still adding value while you are minding the home front. When the holidays are over, you are already on their mind.
Leave making of offers and pitches to when the eggnog is done. Keep visible and you will hit the new year running.
If you plan to sneak in a few hours of work on holiday, be clear with yourself and those you are working for what your boundaries are. Your clients should know when you will work, when you won’t work, and when your kids and family will have your undivided attention. Do not stretch those boundaries. Sticking to that schedule will lend credibility to the work you are getting done.
Work with purpose by prioritizing those tasks that will provide maximum impact. Remember, the planning you did before the holidays will be working for you in the background. With your boundaries firmly in place, you will be much more effective and engaged. When you sit down to work you will know exactly what you are going to accomplish.
Being available when you say you will be and keeping top-of-mind with your communication strategy will earn the respect of your market. They have families too.
Calling all elves! You can’t be in two places at once and if you have deadlines to make during the holidays you will need support. The key is going to be outsourcing either your work or your kids.
By outsourcing work, your costs will go up and profit sharing will increase, but your available time to enjoy your family will also multiply. Since we know how valuable your time with your family is – those dollars make sense.
There are resources available online for invoicing, hiring, writing and everything in between. Be creative and get back to planning. Keep what you love and what you can get done within your boundaries and call in help for the rest. If you are not comfortable using job sites or online resources, university students are home for the holidays and rarely turn down paying work if they can get out of shovelling and garbage detail at home. The work you put into finding resources to help will save your sanity for the family dinner when you really need it.
If you plan to outsource your children to manage your hard deadlines, be creative. One of the biggest challenges my clients have over the holidays is childcare. Daycares, schools and co-ops go on holiday too. With some inventive ideas you can secure work-time and keep more of your income.
Phone a Friend: Find a friend in a similar situation or a stay-at-home mom who needs a couple mornings off per week. Take your friend’s kids two days a week and she can take your kids two days. This is a great way to get some quiet work time without breaking the bank.
Mother’s helpers. Babysitters can be expensive but middle-school children who want something to do over the holidays rarely pass up making a few extra bucks. Print a flyer and post it at the school or spread the word with friends. Remember nieces and nephews can be great resources too. For a fraction of the cost of a sitter, a young teen can spend hours amusing the children with coloring, snacks, movies and games in your home, while you get a couple of undisturbed hours of work in.
Call in those favors! Are you cooking the holiday feast? Instead of asking Aunt Gertie to bring the pie, see if she will take your pumpkin for a few hours instead. Relatives are an easy call but I bet you have done a pick up or playdate for a friend in need this year. Time to call payback.
Remember their children are easier to manage when a friend is over too so it is rarely inconvenient even if they don’t owe you one.
The holidays are the perfect time to slow down and refocus. Take the time to plan the year ahead. Work on a project that keeps getting pushed to the side. Audit your sites and profiles to make sure they are accurately reflecting what you do and your brand. Sometimes stepping away from the day to day grind is the perfect platform for creating the clarity and space needed to refocus and get ready for the upcoming year.
Finally, remember to carve out some time for yourself before you carve that turkey. Keeping your mind and body in tune makes for a smooth and happy holiday. You’ve done the planning and you have earned your reward.
The most powerful action you take this holiday is marketing. Growing your list will set you up for success in 2016. It allows you to build a community of people who have already opted in and want to learn more about what you do. That’s why I am running the 100 Name $100 Grow Your Email List Holiday Challenge… to help you accelerate business growth in 2016.