Tackle Holiday Challenges with a Strong Year-End Business Strategy

With the holidays approaching, many small business owners are nervous about ending the year on a high note, new research finds.

A study from Office Depot revealed that making sure assignments are completed and having enough financial resources to have a profitable and successful end of the year are small business owners’ biggest worries as they head into the holiday season. Specifically, 32 percent of the small and midsize business owners surveyed indicated that cash flow was their biggest holiday season concern.

Christine Nessen, senior director of contract marketing for Office Depot, said that small business owners are also worried about employees staying on task.

“Almost one-quarter of small business owners are concerned with productivity during the hectic holiday season,” Nessen said in a statement.

Many small business owners believe that having some extra hands on deck for the final months of the year could help boost their productivity: The research found that 30 percent of those surveyed thought that they could benefit from hiring temporary employees during the holidays. [See Related Story: Employees Working Remotely Over the Holidays? Set Them Up for Success]

Of those who thought that their business could benefit from extra seasonal help, 87 percent planned to hire temporary employees, with 37 percent expecting to hire six to 10 seasonal workers.

In order to have a strong end of the year, it is important for small business owners to develop an end-of-year strategy to maintain momentum, Nessen said.

“Building a strategy helps owners plan for business changes — such as business influxes and hiring needs — to stay on track during the busy holiday season,” said Nessen. “In addition, maintaining momentum helps meet end-of-year sales goals, deadlines and successfully plan for the next year.”

In addition to developing a plan to ensure that tasks are completed and business operations stay on schedule, and that seasonal staff is hired to help keep things moving in the right direction, small business owners also need to find time to unplug from work in order to spend quality time with family and friends.

The research found that just 27 percent of small and midsize business owners planned to work during the holidays. The study’s authors said that’s a good sign that small business owners understand the benefit of taking a step back to reorganize schedules and prioritize family time.

The study was based on surveys of 2,858 small and medium-size businesses.


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