The holiday season is almost here — which means you’re either drowning in seasonal business or trying to stay busy as non-holiday business slows. Either way, you’re not alone. We asked pros for their best tips on staying ahead when winter comes.
Hire wisely. In the winter, I spend time making sure that everyone on my staff is up to par,” says stylist Winstead Barnes. Consider hiring part-time holiday help two to three months in advance, so they’re trained and ready by the time Halloween rolls around.
Update your Thumbtack profile. According to makeup artist Cynthia Mitchell, keeping your profile seasonal and in-style will help put you ahead when holiday competition picks up. And make sure you can deliver on what your profile promises. Says Cynthia, “It doesn’t hurt to update your kit to ensure you’re prepared for any new fun looks.”
Check your supply. Around the holidays, house cleaner Serene Aandahl has her staff handle their own inventory of cleaning products. This way, her team can to changing demand in real time: no over-ordering, no running out. Just as important, Serene says, “No matter how busy we get, I’m really careful not to overbook my team.”
Stay organized. If your business is seasonal around the holidays, surviving the rush comes down to how well you stay organized, says Serene. “Everyone wants their house cleaned before they host a holiday dinner. Things get busy, fast.”
Schedule wisely.Dog trainer Eric Pliner agrees with Serene about the danger of overbooking himself when things get busy. “It’s easy to overwork yourself in the middle of a surge. I’m very specific about providing time slots on my website and I stick to them so that I can maintain time off to rest and recover,” he says.
Update your calendar. “If customers hire me by completing a booking request but forget to mark me ‘hired,’ I always take the time to do it myself because I want it to be updated in my calendar,” says Serene. Keeping your Thumbtack calendar updated is really helpful for staying on top of appointments, she says — and as long as you’re marked ‘hired,’ Thumbtack automatically adds those appointments to your calendar for you.
If the holidays are your slow time. Not all businesses are busy around the holidays. For some, winter is a time to revisit marketing strategy, train employees, plan for the year ahead—and if there’s spare time — relax. This is the case for accountant JR Gramstad, whose business spikes in January and February, around the start of tax season. “A lot of accountants use the holidays to get some rest after battling deadline after deadline,” he says. JR uses that time to brush up on new tax codes so he can continue to offer the best service possible.
Got some tax tips of your own? Share them in the comments.