Can you believe they’re just around the corner...again? It seems like it was just yesterday when we were stuffing ourselves with last year’s festive treats, bundling up against the cold, and bracing ourselves for Aunt Mildred (you know who we mean - there’s one in every family).
You know it, creatives: things are about to get crazy. Your inbox emplodeth, and your phone doth hellishly ring. Not to get all Shakespearean about it, but an overflow of good converts to bad.
So how do you manage it all? When the long view looks bleak (which, in reality, means from now until late December), what will your coping mechanisms be?
The only way out is through; the only way through is by making some tough decisions about what you will and won’t/can and can’t/love and hate to do.
Design Aglow Print is here to help. We have everything you need to help streamline your workflow, get all of your holiday ordering done, and organize your business; all with time to spare! Our goal is to make your holidays as enjoyable as possible, which includes giving you more time to be with your family, finish projects, or take naps in last year’s leopard Snuggie (we won’t judge).
Also, say no. That’s right: we’re giving you permission to say sayonara to anything that isn’t positive for your business. Say no to last minute clients, no to late orders, no to the naysayers who say that no one can do what you do. You could even say no to the holiday seasons, if they’re just not your thing. (More on that in a minute).
Because as Shakespeare also says, “Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.” To get through the holidays with mirth still in your heart, choose your path deliberately, with consideration to both your business and your personal life.
Here are 5 fantastic things you can do to enjoy the holiday cheer:
1. Get organized. The #1 key to a successful (and calm!) holiday season is to have all of your ducks in a row. This means knowing what you need to get done, and more importantly, when you have to finalize everything.
Our Studio Workflow Assistant is the perfect companion to ensure that absolutely nothing falls through the cracks. Our system ensures your organization level stays at 110%, while also giving you the opportunity to simplify and streamline your holiday work schedule. With quick click-to-edit text and the ability to drag and drop your logo, you can make it applicable to any business, regardless of what type of creative you are. Plus, hanging it on your wall and checking those boxes off will make you feel great. #makeithappen
2. Stay ahead of the game. That’s right. Be the first over the finish line... before the panic ensues as everyone realizes they’ve left things to the last minute.
Our advice? Order your Studio Holiday Cards now. We have over 60 gorgeous designs to choose from, and you can simply choose your favorite color palette, drag & drop in your images, edit the text, and print. Voila! Just like that, you’ve saved yourself so much work, stress, and time.
3. Don’t overbook. This truism is so obvious, yet so overlooked when it comes to planning your time. Go over your holiday schedules for the past few years (haven’t kept these records? start this year!) and figure out what your happy place is, that magical number of clients where everything gets delivered on time and you can still enjoy holiday events and downtime with friends and family. Depending on how your business, this may be 15 clients, or it may be 75; only you know your numbers. Once you get to that mark, stop scheduling. Don’t fall into the trap of “well, just this one.” Because once you start squeezing your schedule to fit in more clients, it’s easy to justify why you should take “just one more.”
The exception to this rule: set aside two days for referrals from exceptionally qualified clients, or loyal customers that might have scheduling issues. If those days don’t get picked up, you have extra hours to work on other projects, or--bonus alert!--free time to spend with those you love.
4. Charge a premium for premium service. We suggest the following pricing structure for rush orders: from December 1-10, charge a 50% rush fee; from December 11-19, that charge goes up to 100%. And under absolutely, positively no circumstances can you accept an order after December 20 and guarantee holiday delivery. If clients want cards at the last minute, let them know they can order New Year’s cards!
5. Do what you love. Dump what you don’t. That’s right. We’re giving you permission to make your own holiday boundaries. What is this alien concept, you might ask?
Just because the holidays tend to be incredibly stressful doesn’t mean yours have to be. You are an independent business owner, and you know your own limits. If you adore spending your holidays with clients, or working on projects, then by all means: do so. Need help answering all of your emails? Hire a seasonal personal assistant, whether it be in-person or virtually. You have the opportunity to shape the season to your benefit, in order to fulfill yourself and your clients.
So, what if you don’t want to work? Then don’t work. Seems like a shocking concept, right? In reality, you can do whatever is most beneficial for you. Think about what works for you and your schedule: maybe that means narrowing your work week down to 4 days instead of 5 or 6? Or maybe that’s doubling down on clients during the upcoming spring or summer, in order to replace the potential holiday income? Get creative. You make the rules.
So go forth! Let this holiday season be one to remember fondly. As a wise man once said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves”--which is perhaps our best advice for creatives trying to harness the holidays. ‘Tis the season for your star to shine bright.