3 ways freelancers can get their businesses ready for the holiday season
If you’re anything like me, you probably have mixed feelings about the holidays. Personally, I love the holiday season and I also dread the busy-ness of it all—especially if I haven’t taken the time to plan ahead.
Whether you’re someone who likes to make a big push towards the end of the year or a person who likes to reflect and make those big plans for next year, prepping your business for the holiday season will move you closer to your goals.
Here are some things I like to implement to create more calm during this traditionally busy time of year.
Start working ahead
This is important both for you and any potential team members you have that might be taking time off.
First, if you do have team members or contractors, find out what their holiday work and vacation schedule will look like.
Based on this information and your commitments, you can then make a list of what needs to be done and a plan to schedule it in now.
For example, if you send a weekly newsletter to your list and you set a task to create two each week instead of one, you can be ahead in a short amount of time. Even if it means more work now, consider that it will be worth it when you’re enjoying downtime or time with family without the pressure of work commitments looming.
When making your list, don’t forget things like holiday cards, seasonal promotions, or client gifts. These can all be planned for and completed ahead of time!
Marketing & content
Speaking of planning, don’t forget to think about creating and planning for any holiday-themed content you want to use for social media.
Whether it’s a giveaway, special posts, graphics, or blog content, now is the time to make a plan!
You can even prepare special images for your website or Facebook page that are holiday-themed if this makes sense for your ideal client.
And while you’re at it, if your business hours will be changed for the holidays, don’t forget to set a task to update them on your website and Facebook Business Page. If you have retainer clients or clients under contract, this is also a good time to send a quick message letting them know of any change in hours or days the business will be closed, along with an updated holiday response time.
Don’t neglect the end of the year tasks
These things can really keep you up at night if you aren’t prepared for them. Make sure your business finances are in order and up-to-date so you’re not stressing about tax time, which is right around the corner. If you have an accountant, you can talk to them and get a list of what they will need from you (or interview and hire one now!).
Don’t forget about sending your contractors a 1099-misc if you paid them more than $600 this year!
This is also the time you will want to make contributions to your retirement if you haven’t already.
On a personal note…
I love taking this time of year to reflect and celebrate the year that has almost passed and to plan for the next. Consider adding some (or all) of these things to your end of year to-do list:
- Plan a digital purge. Set time in your calendar to unsubscribe from all those emails that have been clogging up your inbox, unfollowing the people on social media who don’t make you feel inspired or amazing and leave all those Facebook Groups that you aren’t participating in. You’ll feel so refreshed!
- Celebrate this year’s successes! You’ve made big strides this year and it’s critical to your success that you remember and acknowledge them.
- Review what didn’t go right and consider the lessons learned from any mistakes or “failures.”
- Set your goals for next year and start to outline your plans and tasks around these goals.
- Consider any trainings you’ve attended, courses you’ve taken, or other ways in which your business has grown.
- Consider raising your rates! Corporate gigs often do raises or give out bonuses around this time of year—and you should, too! You’ve worked hard and gained more experience. Make sure your rates reflect that.
Most importantly, don’t forget to create space to rest, recharge, and spend time with your friends and family this holiday season. I love my business, but I’m better when I’ve had some truly disconnected downtime—and I’m sure you are too!