Business Really Picking Up During The Holidays? Eight Tips For Workload Management – Entrepreneur

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

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

1. Balance The Workload With Time To Rest And Recharge

Companies around the globe have lengthy to-do lists when it comes to preparing for the holiday season, but one thing that cannot be forgotten amid the flurry of activity is workload management. Teamwork makes light work, so it’s essential to support your team by budgeting their workload wisely and establishing vacation schedule expectations at the start of the season. This can help eliminate burnout while still ensuring your company meets its goals in a timely manner. Team morale will stay high during this hectic time if everyone knows what’s expected of them and gets quality time off to relax and recharge—because achieving a happy work-life balance has never been more important. – Renato Agrella, Acerca Consulting

2. Get The Whole Team On The Same Page

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

3. Outsource What You Can

Outsourcing is often the best solution for companies that see a surge in business during the holiday season. There are a number of reasons why. First, it can help to free up internal resources. Companies that outsource their operations can focus on their core competencies. Second, outsourcing can help to ensure quality. When operations are managed by a third-party provider, there is typically an expectation of accountability. Finally, outsourcing can provide companies with access to a larger pool of talent. This is especially beneficial for companies that do not 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 forecast demand swings, is that you can plan for those busy periods. This enables you to automate processes to free up time, people and resources that can then be put toward handling the increased demand for your products or services. Consider what can be prepped in the slower months leading up to the holiday season, and highlight any inefficiencies within the business that should be tackled before things get too busy. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

5. Plan Your ‘Backup Crew’

A key part of managing your workload during the holidays is strategizing who is backing up others. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, you may need to call in the backup crew if things get really busy. Second, people have lives during the holidays too. You will need backup people to handle things when others are going to see their child’s Christmas play, heading to a family party and attending other things. Also, a master calendar is essential for all these types of notes. It should be on the computer and available to all in a common area. This improves communication and prevents too many people from taking off at one time. An employee who sees when two have already requested an afternoon off knows they can’t make the same request. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

6. Leverage Trainees For Extra Help

Announcing trainee programs prior to the holiday season can work. As work skyrockets during the holiday season, you need as many hands as you can get to keep the needle moving. Plus, you wouldn’t want the veteran players on your team to engage in administrative work. It’s best to leverage their experience and skills for tasks that demand strategic input and planning. So, it’d be great to offer them assistance for effortless task delegation and management. This can help you keep up with the workload during the holiday season without having to experience burnout. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

7. Prioritize Bottlenecks

While it’s easy to jump from project to project, tackling one at a time, the biggest opportunities tend to come by helping to alleviate bottlenecks for your team. This ensures a continuous flow of productivity on projects, so fewer things fall through the cracks. This is especially important for managers and leadership, since this allows the rest of the team to maximize their progress and output. When your staff has the approval and resources to complete their tasks, they can easily work through 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

There are many businesses that thrive in the last quarter of the year and many that see most of their profits take a hit in these three months as well. When businesses follow a cyclical journey, the key is identifying the peaks and valleys and knowing how to prepare ahead of time. When the holiday season is the core of your business, the rest of the year is not a time to rest, but a time to ensure the right processes are in place, all resources are allocated properly, all marketing materials are ready to be in the market and that your team can manage the workload with ease. The nature of business can be incredibly reactive based on the many variables that exist, but knowing your customers’ buying patterns and habits will help you plan ahead and mitigate unforeseen circumstances. – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow

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