Running a business from home can be challenging at the best of times. But if you’re looking to take some time away over the holiday period here are some tips on how to keep your business running without you steering the ship.
The holidays can be one of the busiest times of the year for retailers and online shop owners so you may find yourself working throughout the holiday season and not taking a break. But it’s important to plan and prepare this holiday season so you can spend valuable time with your friends and family – without worrying about your business.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
A well-known saying, but very true. If you want to take time for yourself then preparing and planning will be the most important part of running your business from home during the holidays. The more you can get done before closing your laptop the better and more relaxed you’ll feel.
So, make a list of everything you need to get done in the weeks leading up to the holidays as well as any activity you want to do during. Getting your business ready for the upcoming holiday season needn’t be difficult or time-consuming, even if you’re a busy business owner with limited time and resources. We’ve put together a holiday checklist for small businesses to ensure you have everything you need this holiday season.
Your plan will be the central point of reference for getting ready for the holiday season so make sure to not leave anything out, no matter how small a detail it may be.
If you have a team of people working within your business, learn to delegate tasks and responsibilities to them throughout this period. It’s important to teach and trust them to take on tasks and complete them.
It’s always good to plan an ‘in case of emergency’ list for your team to contact you. This can help you cover what to contact you for and what not to while you’re off. If it’s something your team can handle at their own discretion, let them but if a major emergency happens, then they need to get in touch with you.
It’s also important that you properly communicate with your customers about your shop’s availability over the holidays. If you’re still taking orders throughout the time you’re away but won’t be able to begin shipping them out until the new year, make sure to communicate this with customers across various points in their shopping experience.
You may want to consider adding a banner across your online shop advising customers that you’re taking orders but they won’t be processed until a particular date. A warning at checkout as well as on their order confirmation email is also a great way to ensure this information is being communicated. If you make sure that your customers are aware of how you’re operating during this time you’re less likely to run into any complaints about delayed deliveries.
Effective communication with your customers will help manage their expectations and result in a better customer experience for them and an uninterrupted break for you.
Automate what you can
With the advancements of technology today, a lot of your business activities can be automated so you prepare them in advance and schedule them to go out on your desired day and time. Things like your email marketing and social media that can be planned and scheduled in advance will make it easier for you to put the laptop away and enjoy your break.
Consider hiring help
According to Simply Business, 90% of business owners have no one to cover them over the holidays and 44% said they couldn’t afford to miss out on the potential loss of business. We can understand that if you’re a one-person business making the decision to take some time for yourself over the holidays is much harder.
But if you can afford to hire some help, even if it’s just to answer queries on your social media, then this will help give you some peace of mind. If you can’t afford to hire help for answering queries then you can set up automatic replies on your social media to communicate with your potential customers how your business is operating over the holiday period.
We hope these tips will help you plan and prepare for the upcoming holiday period so you can take a well-deserved break over Christmas.
If you’d like to learn more about setting up your own online shop, read on for more insights into running your own online business here.