While the holidays can be fun and magical and wonderful…it can also be a super stressful time of year. Here are 10 Holiday Survive and Thrive Tips for Biz Owners. The intention: Less hassle, more joy, more money!

  1. Throw a Sober Company Party. I know, I know. Sometimes a drink can make a holiday party bearable. Alas, the reality is that too many people are struggling with addiction. And, it is just too dangerous to risk any team member drinking and driving. Instead, throw a family friendly party. Have Santa show up. Plan a scavenger hunt or karaoke at the shop, or in the warehouse. Start the party at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It’s nice to spend time with little kids during the holidays. Invite them! Your employees don’t have to make baby sitter arrangements either. Give a modest mall gift card to all team members as a small gesture of your appreciation with the money you saved on booze.
  2. Don’t Send Holiday Cards. If you have already, great. If you haven’t, skip it. We get so many at this time of year that yours will probably get lost in the mail shuffle. Instead send an e-card with a fun picture of you and your team from the Company Party. (See Tip #1.)
  3. Make One Contribution. Consider making just one contribution to a worthy cause. You could even brag on that organization in the PS of your e-card. (See Tip #2.) However, if that is looking like yet another thing to do…just don’t. There will be plenty of opportunities to give this season. Salvation Army representatives are ringing bells right now, at shopping mall entrances. Make one bell ringer’s pot extra sweet. Whatever you choose to contribute, let yourself embrace the joy of giving without the guilt of not giving enough.
  4. Go for a Walk. Every day. Bundle up if it is cold. Just get yourself outside. Enjoy the solitude. Breathe deep and relax as you walk around the block or the park. Go every day even if you are super busy. Life does go on without you. You’ll reduce stress, burn calories, increase oxygen and release endorphins. You’ll sleep better, too. If walking were a drug, doctors would prescribe it for everyone!
  5. Raise your Prices. I was just visiting with a client who had done a bang-up job with her accounting system. She knows where every penny has gone over the last 15 years. She wanted to know what else she could cut that would help her and her family make more money in their plumbing business. What an exhausting thought! Instead, I recommended a price increase. I suggested she double her prices. Yep. Show up clean, sober, on-time and dressed right and you can charge twice what the competition charges. Add to that a basic understanding of your craft, and you can charge three times what others charge. Your customers are less price sensitive than you are. It’s easy to make more money when you realize the value of what you do. Plumbers? They keep people from dying of cholera and other diseases…every day they prevent more diseases than doctors could possibly cure. What do YOU do that is valuable? Lay claim to it and raise your prices! Money buys options. Next year, you may choose to give even more. (See Tips #1 and #3.)
  6. Count your Blessings. As you wake up and your feet hit the ground, find 5 things to be grateful for. Say, “Thank you,” out loud , for each one, as you march to the bathroom. Let the words, “Thank you,” be your first words every day. This tip is a life changer.
  7. Take a Stroller. The mall is a great place to get all your shopping done at a quick clip. Take a stroller with you…even if you don’t have a little kid. Load up the purchases without straining your back, shoulders and hands. And, when you are wondering if you have forgotten anyone, just say, “No.