Thank you to Office Depot for sponsoring this post.
The holiday season is busy for all of us but for small business owners, it is an especially hectic time of year. As the owner of several small businesses, I’m taking the time to get organized now so that I can help my small businesses run smoothly through the holiday season and maintain some sort of work/life balance in the process. These are the tricks that I’ve used year after year and they have helped my businesses to have very profitable holiday seasons.
To say that my family is busy is an understatement. Outside of my blog, I run two small businesses, and the holiday season is always very busy as we try to juggle all of our work and personal commitments.
If you are a small business owner, I know that you understand the struggle.
Fourth-quarter is prime time for most small businesses. The trick is staying organized enough to keep up with all of it.
I’ve learned the key to surviving the holiday season as a small business owner is to prepare before things get busy.
My family runs a local produce business together and I run a social media management company so we are in full holiday prep mode to make sure everything runs smoothly during the holidays.
The products and services that OfficeDepot offers helps me keep my small businesses running smoothly. It’s like having an assistant available whenever I need someone. I love having the ability to print larger-scale documents or having access to qualified tech services technicians because it makes my job so much easier.
Have a marketing plan in place.
Marketing is the lifeline of small businesses, whether you focus on word-of-mouth advertising, online ads, or traditional advertising. If you have a product or service that people want during the holiday season be sure to plan your marketing strategy early.
For our family produce business, we have plans to do a few local events and needed some signage that would draw attention.
Office Depot have some amazing services including printing, with their print and copy services. I’ve used them before to print flyers and business cards, but I had no idea just how many things they had the ability to print.
It was so easy to design what I needed and place an order online. Within a few hours my order was ready for pickup at my local store.
We got a gorgeous vinyl sign printed that is going to be used at in-person events and will hang on our office door the rest of the time.
We were able to have the vinyl sign printed the same day and I’m really impressed with the quality.
Repair anything that Isn’t working.
As a small business owner, you often don’t have many people to turn to when things don’t go according to plan. That’s why it is so important to stay on top of things that need repair. My teenage sons do most of the legwork running our local produce business. Since they are active teens, that often means they are managing things using their cell phones while they are away from home.
One of my son’s phones met with an unfortunate accident not long ago and his screen was shattered so badly that the phone wasn’t useable.
We discovered that Office Depot has same-day phone repair services as part of their tech department.
We had shopped around quite a bit and Office Depot met or beat every pricing quote we’d received so they are a great option if you need electronics fixed in a hurry, and especially in time for the holiday rush.
Establish a daily schedule.
I’m a huge believer that having solid routines in place can help you be more effective. This is especially true during the holiday season.
With so many things on my plate, I needed an easy way to manage my time. I took my favorite daily planner (download the pdf here) and printed it in large poster format at Office Depot. I was able to print it and pick it up just a few hours later, which was exactly what I needed with my schedule being so full.
Once it was printed, I put it in a frame and hung it next to my desk. The glass frame will let me use dry erase markers to write on it and this easy schedule helps me manage everything I need to with my small businesses and my personal health goals in one place.
I find that having a clear plan for the day and prioritizing the most essential tasks helps me work more effectively and prevents anything from falling through the cracks.
These three tricks sound so simple but they made such an enormous difference in how smoothly our holiday season goes. The holidays are a great time for small businesses, but I have to remember that they are also a special time for my family and I want to be present for that.
Keeping my small businesses running smoothly helps me balance my personal and professional life. When I do that, my small businesses always do very well and I enjoy the time I spend running them so much more. With a little help from Office Depot, my businesses are prepped for the holiday season and I’ve been able to snag a few great finds off my holiday shopping list too that make the perfect functional yet fun gift.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Office Depot.