Does business really pick up during the holidays? Eight Workload Management Tips

With additional holiday requests, increased shopping, and urgent customer service needs, the holiday season can be a busy time of year for any business. But for seasonal businesses or businesses where sales really pick up at the end of the year, managing the workload can be an act of juggling responsibilities.

To help busy businesses better plan their time and improve overall productivity, eight members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share their top tips below. Consider these tips if you and your business are starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the heavy workload of the holiday season.

1. Balance workload with rest and cooldown

Businesses around the world have long to-do lists when it comes to preparing for the holiday season, but one thing that cannot be forgotten amidst the flurry of activity is managing the workload. Teamwork makes work easier, so it’s essential to support your team by budgeting their workload wisely and setting holiday schedule expectations at the start of the season. This can help eliminate burnout while ensuring your business meets its goals in a timely manner. Team morale will stay high during this turbulent time if everyone knows what is expected of them and gets some quality time to relax and recharge, because achieving work-life balance has never been also important. – Renato Agrella, Acerca Consulting

2. Put the whole team on the same page

The holiday season can be a very busy and stressful time for business. One of the best ways to handle the increased workload during these times is to get your whole team on the same page. This involves setting clear expectations about what each person is responsible for, setting priorities, and communicating openly with everyone involved. Additionally, it is important to build extra time into your schedules so that you are not completely overwhelmed by deadlines and still have flexibility if needed. By implementing these tips, businesses can successfully manage their workloads during the holiday season and stay productive through the hectic months ahead. – Adam Preiser, WP Crafter

3. Outsource what you can

Outsourcing is often the best solution for companies that see their business increase during the holiday season. There are several reasons for this. First, it can help free up internal resources. Companies that outsource their operations can focus on their core competencies. Second, outsourcing can help ensure quality. When operations are handled by a third-party provider, there is usually an expectation of accountability. Finally, outsourcing can allow companies to access a larger pool of talent. This is especially beneficial for companies that don’t have the internal resources to handle a larger workload. – Sujay Pawar, CartFlows

4. Automate processes to free up resources

The best thing about running a seasonal business, or a business where you can accurately predict fluctuations in demand, is that you can plan for those busy times. This allows you to automate processes to free up time, people, and resources that can then be devoted to managing increased demand for your products or services. Think about what can be prepared in the slower months leading up to the holiday season and highlight any inefficiencies within the business that should be addressed before things get too busy. – Diana Goodwin, Market Box

5. Plan your “rescue team”

A key part of managing your holiday workload is determining who is supporting others. This is important for several reasons. First, you may need to call the rescue team if things get really busy. Second, people also have vacation lives. You will need backup people to handle things when others go to see their child’s Christmas play, go to a family party, and attend other things. Additionally, a master calendar is essential for all of these types of notes. It must be computer-based and accessible to everyone in a common area. This improves communication and prevents too many people from taking off at the same time. An employee who sees when two have already requested an afternoon off knows they cannot make the same request. – Baruch Labunski, secure rank

6. Leverage interns for extra help

Announcing internship programs before the holiday season can work. As work spikes during the holiday season, you need as many hands as possible to keep the needle moving. Also, you wouldn’t want veteran players on your team to engage in administrative tasks. It is best to leverage their experience and skills for tasks that require strategic input and planning. So it would be great to offer them assistance for effortless task delegation and management. It can help you cope with the workload during the holiday season without having to experience burnout. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Shapes

7. Prioritize bottlenecks

While it’s easy to jump from project to project, tackling one project at a time, the biggest opportunities tend to come by helping to break down bottlenecks for your team. This ensures a continuous flow of productivity across projects, so fewer things fall through the cracks. This is especially important for managers and leaders, as it allows the rest of the team to maximize their progress and results. When your staff has the approval and resources to complete their tasks, they can easily complete their projects, even during busy seasons, because there are fewer barriers to success. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

8. Use the rest of the year to plan ahead

Many companies thrive in the last quarter of the year, and many see most of their profits take a hit in those three months as well. When businesses follow a cyclical journey, the key is to identify the ups and downs and know how to prepare in advance. When the holiday season is at the heart of your business, the rest of the year is not a time for rest, but a time for ensuring that the right processes are in place, that all resources are properly allocated, that all marketing materials are market-ready and that your team can handle the workload with ease. The nature of business can be incredibly reactive depending on the many variables that exist, but knowing your customers’ patterns and buying habits will help you plan ahead and mitigate unforeseen circumstances. -Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow

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