The Holiday Survival Guide For Small Business Owners And Freelancers
How to balance work and life over the holidays without going crazy or losing out to a competitor.
Shutting off during the holidays can be much harder when you’re a small business owner or freelancer. Not only is your work wherever you are; there’s the fear that if you do try to scale back on work over the holidays, your clients could possibly go elsewhere. And, many established companies have set holidays that enforce some downtime, freelancers included.
There’s also the worry that because not everyone celebrates the holidays, competitors who don’t observe them could usurp some of your business during the festive season.
On the flip side, we know how important it is to take a break and recharge. So how should a small business owner or freelancer manage the annual struggle between work and personal life during the holidays? We asked a few in various industries to give us their best holiday survival tips.
Be Extra Organized
Most freelancers and small business owners will tell you it’s nearly impossible to run your own business if you have bad organizational skills. But we all know that the holiday period can be less than organized with impromptu shopping outings, dinners with friends, and events with family, which is why freelancers need to be vigilantly organized—more so than normal.
Being organized includes not only setting up meetings and calls with clients, but also scheduling their time limits to stay on track and ensure there are enough working hours to get things done. Being organized allows you to be more efficient and enables you to find the time to take out of your schedule to be with family and friends. Plan in some padding on either end of appointments to allow for unexpected overruns, so you can still make that gathering with friends.
Clearly Communicate Your Availability to Clients
It’s important to remember the clients you are dealing with are just like you and probably want to be able to enjoy downtime over the holidays as well. Most of the time they’ll be happy just knowing what days and hours they can reach you should the need arise. So clearly communicate your holiday availability to clients well in advance.
This could mean first sending an email newsletter to his most engaged customers. Next, posting a note on the company website FAQ listing his holiday availability. Finally, posting your contact information for any urgent issues letting customers know that these messages are only checked once every 48 hours. This gives his customers peace of mind knowing when they’ll get a reply.
People like to know where they stand with their questions/needs, even if that’s an automated response. The thing that’s guaranteed to lose you a [potential] customer is if they get no response, because if you can’t answer their problems when they haven’t bought from you, how can they have faith that you will be there to help them when they have?
Use a Virtual Assistant
No, not Siri. We’re talking human virtual assistants. Virtual assistant services mean that you can have a real person competently monitoring and responding to your work emails and phone calls over a set period of days or even just during certain hours each day. The assistant will reply based on your instructions and only interrupt your family time during your off hours if there is an urgent message from a client that demands immediate action.
Better Yet, Come See Us…
At Office Evolution Columbus, we understand the unique challenges of being an entrepreneur, and we have designed our services with the modern day, flexible, entrepreneur in mind. Our Virtual Office ranges from a private mailbox, to meeting space, to phone answering service providing the support you need specially during the holiday season.
We offer the ideal combination of a Coworking Community and Executive Suites. We serve the Columbus metropolitan area with 2 locations, so whether you live in Powell, Dublin, Hilliard, Grove City, Worthington, New Albany, Westerville, Bexley, Blacklick, Clintonville, Upper Arlington or Reynoldsburg, choosing Office Evolution Columbus in Dublin or Easton Town Center will help your budget remain flexible, with more money to spend on the things that matter most to your business.
Contact us today to set up a tour at our Dublin or Easton, Ohio locations.