Tips to help you take a break without breaking your business
Holidays for small business owners are tough. We know we need to take time off, but how can we switch off when we have a business to run? It’s something that is easier said than done.
This will be my fourth summer since I launched Angela Pickett Copywriter. Each year I get better at setting boundaries and making decisions that help my business and support me and my family.
I had some ideas for what I should include in this blog. But I put the call out in the fabulous Clever Copywriting Community. Several copywriters shared their tips to make holidays for small business owners enjoyable without affecting your business.
1. Communicate your holiday plans early
By now, you’ve hopefully decided when you’re taking a break and communicated these dates with your clients.
If you haven’t, this is your friendly reminder to do it now.
Set a really clear deadline of when you’ll be away, and when you’ll be back on deck.
This includes communicating your hours during December. Make sure you can enjoy those Christmas lunches, school concerts or shopping trips without worrying about looming deadlines.
2. Wrap up your projects
There is nothing worse than trying to take a break when you’ve got unfinished work hanging over you.
Try to wrap up your projects before the break. If you can’t, make sure you’ve got a clear plan and timeline with your clients. Ideally, you want to finish all your tasks and serve the ball back into your client’s court. Let them know when you’ll be back and ready to resume the project, and check when your client will be back at work. You don’t want to be sitting around in January waiting for replies.
But we all know December is notoriously busy with lots of events, and if you have kids, well, it’s even worse. For regular or retainer clients, make sure you’ve communicated not only your holiday dates, but the last dates you’ll be accepting work or revisions.
3. Update your Google Business and social profiles
It’s also important to communicate your holiday dates to potential clients. Heather Venz from Heydays Creative suggests sharing your holiday hours on your Google profile and social media accounts. This can also be an excellent opportunity to book in projects to kick off the new year. Lindsay Salmon suggests pinning this information to the top of your social accounts and including it on your website for easy reference. Be sure to remind your clients to do the same for their clients and customers.
4. Make time to schedule an end-of-year review and set goals
While we often take time to review our business at the end of the financial year, the end of the calendar year is also a good time to review your progress. If you reviewed your business in June or July, now is a good time to check in on the goals you’ve set. Copywriter and author Rashida Tayabali suggests taking time to look at whether you’re on track and whether there’s anything you want to change in the first half of 2023.
Katie Dimario also suggests using this time to schedule in local events, travel and conferences, school events, birthdays and holidays. I love this idea because when you do this early on, it becomes very clear on how much time you really have to work on and in your business.
5. Get ahead with your 2023 marketing
My online business manager Steph and I spent some time last month to outline my marketing plans for the start of 2023. I’ve already drafted my January blog, social media posts and newsletter, so I can finish and send them in early January. And I’ve outlined everything for February so I can focus on client work as soon as I start back.
6. Schedule social media for the break
While we’re talking about social media, don’t forget to schedule some social media posts for while you’re away. You don’t need to create brand new content. Look at your most popular posts from this year, make sure they are relevant and reschedule them.
7. Plan an offer to launch early in the New Year
What’s your focus for the start of 2023? You don’t want to wait to get back to work in January to plan a new offer. Work out what your focus is going to be now and get everything ready to go. That way your business can hit the ground running, even if your brain is still in holiday mode by the pool.
8. Get your personal admin sorted
Quite a few copywriters pointed out the importance of blocking out time in the new year for personal appointments, like haircuts and regular health check-ups. Kristy from Kristy Wright Copywriter suggests stocking up on birthday cards and bulk staples to save time throughout the year.
9. Plan a CEO day
We all know how difficult it can be to switch straight from holiday mode to work mode, especially if you’ve had a decent break and properly switched off. Nerissa Bentley from The Melbourne Health Writer suggests planning a CEO day, complete with delicious snacks, a tasty lunch and drinks to finish the day. Even if you take the time to review your business at the end of 2022, a CEO day is a fantastic way to get the creative juices flowing and build some excitement for the year ahead.
10. Schedule your payments in advance
Jacinta Marshall from Purple Biz suggests scheduling all your payments in advance. That way, you won’t miss any payments and you won’t be caught out when you return. I also loved Jacinta’s idea of writing to Santa asking for a new laptop. What are you asking for? I think I’d like a new electric standing desk for my new office.
11. Turn on your out of office and delete work apps
I love this advice from Marketing Goodness’s Beck Cofrancesco. Set up an out of office message on your email and auto responder messengers (or chat bots) on your social media. Provide clear details when you’ll be back and links to information.
Delete any work apps you don’t need off your phone. I know I’ll find this tricky, but I think I’ll at least delete Slack and my business email.
12. Take a holiday
I’m giving the last word about holidays for small business owners to Sarah-Joy Pierce from Joyful Communications. Close your laptop and take a holiday. The last few years have been tough for everyone. Whether you’ve just started your business or you’ve been operating for years, we all need time to refresh and regroup. The work will still be there when you get back. And breaking your daily writing streak in Grammarly isn’t the end of the world!
My holiday plans
I love Christmas and the summer holidays, but this year I’m more excited than ever about taking a break. Over the next few weeks, we’ll finally be moving back into our newly renovated house before hosting our family for Christmas. So if you’re looking for me, I’ll be by my pool, on my deck or in my garden.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips to make holidays for small business owners enjoyable. I’d love to know if you’re inspired to schedule some rest and relaxation over the Christmas and New Year period.
Thank you so much for all your support over the last year. After struggling to blog consistently for a couple of years, I’ve really enjoyed sharing a blog each month.
My copywriter hat is coming off on Friday 16 December and I won’t be putting it back on until Monday 16 January. If you’re keen to work together next year, drop me a line via the contact page and we’ll set up a call for January.
Have a safe, happy and relaxing holiday.
See you in 2023.