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How To Prepare For The Holiday Season— And Enjoy It!
Author: Marla Tabaka
Monday, October 16, 2017

Do you feel a tinge of envy when someone proudly tells you they’ve gotten their Christmas shopping completely done— in September? Well, you know the old saying: If you can’t beat them, join them.There’s still time to get an early jump on things to ensure that you have a successful, less stressful holiday season. A little foresight, planning and organization are all you need. 

Make your list and check it twice.
Schedule time to make your holiday gift list and do your shopping now, rather than last minute. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you might consider it this year. Amongst other perks the free and fast shipping is wonderful. If you shop in retail stores, go easy on yourself, avoid the holiday rush at the mall to save time—and sanity.

Create your menu plan early.
One of the most stressful parts about holiday meals, and entertaining in general, is guring out what you’re going to serve. If it’s your turn to host this year, make a detailed list ahead of time. Check your seasonings, make sure you have enough serving platters and create your table de´cor early. Plan on some make-ahead desserts and side dishes, and ask your guests to contribute to the meal.

Serving tip: Take out your serving platters and bowls the previous day and put stickie notes on them to identify the food that each will contain. That way, you can ask others to ll the serving dishes and get them onto the table. A real stress saver!

Hire a cleaning service.
Would you rather be scrubbing toilets or selling product? The few hundred dollars it takes to have someone clean your home before and after the holidays will come back to you in product sales. Schedule now though, as these services book up early at this time of the year.

Make time to play and relax.
If you get an early jump on things you will have time to yourself for a change. Make the best out of every moment by identifying your needs now and scheduling time for them. If you know you need to exercise to remain grounded, put it on your calendar. Hot baths, baking cookies with the kids, pre-holiday parties and even alone time are all things you can plan for. When you’re grounded and rested you will be more creative, patient and productive.

Do everything you can to keep your stress low and your energy high. It’s important to those who love you that you remain healthy, happy and fully present at this special time of the year. 

 

Here are some reminders and handy tips to happily survive (even thrive) throughout your busy season. If you step back from your day-to-day activities to organize and plan now, you’ll see the time-saving, stress-reducing results later in business: 

Take inventory and order additional supplies now.
Hopefully, you have a well-functioning inventory system. If not, avoid the temptation to keep your inventory needs in your head—that never turns out well. Check and re-check supplies to make sure you’re stocked with everything you need to produce, package, and ship your product. Avoid taking chances, if there’s the slightest possibility you’ll run out of something place orders now to avoid long waits and the risk of suppliers running out. Don’t forget that not every batch turns out perfectly, account for that fact as you’re calculating ingredients.

Don’t overestimate what you can get done in a day.
Many entrepreneurs believe they can get everything on their list done in a day. When they fail, frustration and self- criticism wears them down. Create a visual timeline for everything that needs to get done. Don’t set yourself up for failure: leave blocks of time open to handle things that pop up throughout the day—because you know they do! 

On the personal side:
Your beautiful products make gift-giving (and receiving) a joy during the holiday season, don’t let it be at the cost of your own joy and happiness. The organizational skills you apply to your business will also help in your personal life.

Ask for help.
Another mistake I see all too often, especially in female entrepreneurs: don’t even try to do it all alone. Successful entrepreneurs hire help and sometimes ask family and friends to pitch in. Even if it’s just someone to do simple things like clean up and prepare the boxes for shipping, the time and effort saved will pay off. Keep your own focus on money-making activities as much as possible.

Prepare social media posts and Advertisements now.
Social media can easily fall to the wayside when there’s other work to be done. Yet, that’s where people go for ideas and inspiration. Shoot your product images now, for both social and your website, and preload them into a scheduling app. Many such tools don’t include both Pinterest and Instagram, but Viralwoot.com allows scheduling, basic analytics, and promotion on all the social media sites you’ll need for as little as $12 per month. 
 



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