The end of the year means holiday parties, good cheer and – for small business owners – often an opportunity for big profits. But it also can mean a huge amount of stress, especially if you’re in the financial industry and many of your clients are closing their books for the calendar year. Here are some things you can do now to avoid the holiday horrors:
- If you’re closing your books at the end of the year, too, make sure you’ve taken care of your own financials ahead of time so you can concentrate on your customers. Gather any receipts you need, make sure your invoices are in order, and call any clients that may owe you money. Any charities you want to donate to? You don’t have to wait until the holidays to feel charitable. Giving now will still count toward your deductions next tax season.
- Go over the list of goals you created at the beginning of the year to review what you intended to accomplish in 2013, such as shopping for new business insurance, replacing your phone system, or updating your business plan. You won’t have time for any of these tasks when you’re chin-deep in work, so either take care of them now or push them to next year’s list.
- Did you plan on purchasing any new tools like software or hardware to help you get through the season? It’s a good idea to buy the new products now so you can test them, get comfortable using them and make sure everything is glitch-free.
- Prepare your holiday marketing campaigns now rather than wait a few weeks. You can start on your email campaigns, write your end-of-year thank yous, and plan out your social media promotions. Anything you can do now will help lower your stress level when December hits.
- Get your personal obligations in order before the distractions of the holidays start to invade. Make sure family and friends understand it’s your busy season and you won’t be able to attend every event with them. If you do plan on taking some time off, make sure clients know the drop-dead deadline to get you their materials and the last day you’ll be available.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected]m, follow her onGoogle+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.