As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.
As I look ahead to the approaching holiday season, I thought I’d share a few suggestions for you to consider for your business.
• Give yourself a break. Most employees get time off for Christmas. Sometimes I give myself time off, too. But I'm not always intentional about it. This year, I'm going to actually mark off a couple of days that I'm gifting to myself. I'll turn on my auto reply and get myself out of the office. I know it will feel good and will be rejuvenating for me.
• Make a list of office supply and equipment needs. I know it is difficult to spend money on work when you need to spend money on holiday gifts. But there are two great reasons to make work related purchases this month and next. One, there are great sales. Two, if you've had a successful year in 2009, you can reduce your taxable income by purchasing things you need (and want) for your business.
• Consider developing a one-page plan for next year. I spend one morning each December writing a one-page business plan for myself. I simply identify four or five initiatives that would help my business. I capture them on paper, jot down my action plans, and post it on my wall. This helps keep me focused throughout the year.
• Set a financial goal (unless it will make you a slave to your business). I set financial goals for myself early in my business. But I abandoned them when they became the be-all and end-all for me even though I had two preschool aged children. Instead, I focused on taking the work that came my way. No more, no less. Now, however, I've started setting goals again. And I'm pleased to report that I had my best year ever in 2009! Don't be a slave to a goal. But consider setting one if it will motivate and encourage you or if you have something special you're saving for.
• Take time to be thankful. I am grateful I get to work from home. Sometimes I forget my gratitude when I'm overwhelmed or behind in my work. But I don't want to lose sight of what a privilege it is to run my own business. I plan to keep this in the forefront of my mind as I approach this holiday season.
Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. Sign up for her work at home blog at www.makingworkathomework.com.