As an independent retailer, you need no reminder how crazy the next couple of months can be. With Black Friday just around the corner and Christmas on the horizon, the perennial push to boost sales and finish the year strong is about to kick into high gear.
But productive and profitable as the holiday shopping season can be, it can also bring business owners some sleepless nights and undesired pressure.
But have no fear.
Here are six handy tips to help minimize stress over the next several weeks.
Delegate. As much as it can feel like it sometimes, you’re not in this alone. Instead of trying to take everything on yourself, hand some tasks off to your staff and have confidence they’ll do a good job. It’s inevitable that you’ll put in extra hours over the next few months, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything.
Prepare. Yes, part of what makes the holiday season such a stressful time is the unpredictability of it. But some of that unpredictability can be curbed by learning from the past and being proactive. Did you run out of product last year? Were you ever short-staffed? Instead of falling victim to the same stress-inducing situations as past seasons, use them as learning experiences and prepare accordingly.
Automate. There’s working hard and there’s working smart. As a business owner, you should constantly be focusing on the latter. From inventory control to accounting, there are always more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing business. Be sure to stay on top of the technological trends and automate your workflow whenever possible.
Balance. Sometimes the stress you feel in the workplace is really an extension of the stress in your personal life. In order to stay happy and healthy through the holiday season, be sure to devote some time to your friends and family. Just because you’re busier than usual doesn’t mean your social life – or the people you’re close to – should suffer.
Keep calm and carry on. Over the course of the holiday season staff will call in sick, orders will be late and customers will complain. Instead of focusing on the things you can’t control, do your best to manage the things you can. Stay optimistic, nurture company morale and focus on the positive. After all, worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere.
Stay healthy. When the days are long and the to-do lists are longer, your commitment to eating right and exercising can fall to the wayside. But just because you’re busy doesn’t mean your health should suffer. Taking care of yourself – both physically and mentally – is especially important during cold and flu season and will give you the energy you need to make it through the season.