This time of year can be crazy for a creative business owner.
Double or triple sales volume (we hope), customers who want their purchases YESTERDAY, glitches in shipping or computers… all of it can make a creative business owner feel more like Grinch than Santa.
Here are a few tips from a woman who has not only owned a few businesses but also worked retail for many years around the holidays.
Give a little. When you feel like the season has gotten out of hand and you just want to lock yourself away in a room until it’s over stop thinking about what’s so rotten and GIVE. Pay for the coffee of the gal in line behind you, help someone shovel a sidewalk, keep small candy canes on hand to give out. You’ll be surprised at what even small gestures of kindness will do for your mood. Not to mention the mood of the folks around you.
Give a little more. Is the customer asking a little too much and in a sort of cranky way? Try to imagine that she’s having an awful day, not just awful like the one you are having but something like this; She finally got all of the kids off to school and was ready to head off to the office (even though she REALLY didn’t want to) only to realize that there is peanut butter on her best suit. She had a flat tire on the way into work, her boss was out sick and she had to do twice the work today AND to top it all off she got yelled at because even though she was doing twice the work she apparently wasn’t doing it fast enough.Yeah, it’s highly unlikely that all of that happened to one person but what if it did? Isn’t it a little easier to give a little more now?
Have an office party. Even if you are the only one in the office most of the time invite a few friends, fellow creative business owners or your own family to a small office party. It doesn’t need to be expensive, elaborate or even very long but simply taking the time to celebrate the season and the people who make your life more pleasant is a great way to cope with holiday stress.
Decorate your space. Whether you have dedicated office space, a basement studio or garage, be sure to put up a few holiday decorations. Especially decorate the area near where you deal with customers the most (near your computer, customer service desk, or phone) so that you may have a boost in spirit when in those areas. Even if you aren’t dealing with people face to face, the decorations will boost your mood and that will come across in your communications.
Support other creative businesses. You know that saying, “What comes around, goes around”? It can apply here as well. If you want others to support local/creative businesses then be sure to check your list and see where you can buy gifts from other locals/creatives. It will help to complete your shopping list while making you feel great to support other creative business people. Not only will you feel better for supporting others but that is bound to come back to you in a good way.
Put yourself in time-out. Don’t be afraid to take a time-out if you need to. Keep a favorite chocolate, tea, or other treat on hand, turn everything off even for just a few minutes, and have a little break. Breathe deeply, think positive thoughts and relax. You’ll be in a much better mood when you get back to business.
Always remember that this busy time is only temporary. Don’t let the season get to you and leave a bad impression with possible future customers. By putting your best self forward you are making positive connections that will see you though the rest of the year.
What other tips would you add to this list? How do YOU keep the holiday spirit flowing among the hustle and bustle?
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess