The holidays can be a stressful time for business owners. While your employees (being the selfish people that they are) take time off to prepare for the holidays, travel and spend time with loves ones, you are left holding the bag. It’s clear that no one cares about the business the way you do. Another holiday ruined!
So what do you do? Join them.
Think about: As a business owner, do you enjoy the holidays as much as you did when you worked for someone else? A lot of business owners that I know say no. The stress of owning a business interferes with their ability to truly enjoy spending time with their loved ones. A survey by Bank of America found that maintaining a small business causes twice as much stress as maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse or partner, nearly three times as much stress as raising children, and more than four times as much stress as managing their personal finances. And, as a result, small-business owners are so stressed that they regularly give up free time (57 percent), exercise (37 percent) and other personal priorities to manage their businesses.
But here’s the thing: You work hard — you deserve a break. Here’s how you can do that.
1. Plan for it.
The holidays come at the same time every year. As you do your budget and strategic planning, remember the holidays. Plan for a lighter month revenue-wise in December, and try to make up for it in September and October.
2. Lighten up.
Remember the spirit of the holiday season. If an employee needs to take some extra time at lunch to finish her shopping or you catch someone doing a little Amazon shopping, let it go. If it gets out of hand, of course, say something. But try to be human. And maybe you could do a little shopping yourself.
3. Take the time to recharge.
It’s good for you and your business when you step away for a few days. You come back fresh and rested. You need it.
4. Don’t work on the actual holiday
(…unless you own a business that is open on the holidays). Besides the fact that you just shouldn’t work on a holiday, you will look bad. Your clients won’t appreciate it, your employees will probably lose respect for you, and your loved ones will be angry. It’s not worth the risk.
5. Celebrate with your employees and clients.
Get into the holiday spirit by starting off with your employees and clients. Give gifts, splurge on nice lunches and take the time to say “thank you” to the people who have contributed to the success of your business.
So many business owners I know work to provide for their families. But ironically, because of the stress and pressures of owning a business, their families often end up with the short end of the stick. This holiday season, put you and your family over your business — and enjoy!
Photo credit: Carola Photography ∞