Christmas Dinner

I saw a post on LinkedIn earlier this week which inspired me to write this blog on “Things To Do For Your 1st Christmas As A Small Business Owner”

The post read “This is my 1st year since I left school that I’ve not got one Christmas Party in the diary for next month”

I’ve heard similar from so many small business owners over the years. For those just starting out that very 1st Christmas is a mixture of emotions – joy, happiness, fear and loneliness washing over you all at once

And whilst you often have people who support you, they’re not going through what you’re going through

So here are some tips from someone who’s done it and come out the other side happier for it

1. Accept It’s All Uphill From This Point On
“How do I buy Christmas presents for the people I love?”

It’s probably a question you’re asking yourself when you realise that your income in these 1st few months is 20% of what it was on a salary

There’s pride at stake

Deep down you know you’re happier and that your business is showing all the signs of growing over the next 2 to 3 years now, but you know what you bought the parents and children last year and you know that this year your simply can’t afford to splash out

Don’t stress

Accept that it’s uphill from this point on and next Christmas will be business as usual (and probably 5x better)

Your family probably haven’t seen you switched off properly since you set up the business and they’ll be happy to spend time with you without you constantly checking your phone or taking phone-calls

Being present is the best gift you can give them

2. Write Down All The Things You’ve Achieved
That week before Christmas will go quiet

It does for everyone, but it can be strange that 1st year

In your job you were used to pretending you had work on till the last day before Christmas and you were getting paid for it

And now with your own business you’re quiet and you’re not getting paid for it

Use the time productively and do all those admin tasks you’ve been meaning to do. Clear your desk. Clear your inbox

But importantly do one thing – write down all the things you’ve achieved since you set up your business

Don’t just think in monetary terms or sales

Write down everything

It might be something as simple as “Did a business talk to 30 people for the 1st time ever”

Share all these mini successes with your friends and family

3. Arrange a Christmas Night Out With Your New Business Pals
You’re probably thinking of the works Christmas Party

The free drinks tokens. The gossip the next day. The joyous time you spent with your colleagues

You could probably get a +1 with one of your friends for the old works do, but you want to look forward, not backwards

Don’t just wait for someone else to arrange a Christmas get together

Be the proactive one and drop 4 or 5 of your new business pals a group email and ask does anyone fancy a Christmas drink together this year

They’ll all say yes as they’re in the same position as you. And it will grow from those initial 4 or 5 to “More is merrier” and probably end up with 20 people out for your Christmas Party

4. Drop Hints For Christmas Presents That Improve Your Business
We’ve all been there at Christmas when we get a present we don’t actually want

In fact it might be a present we actually love, but there’s only so many bottles of wine and boxes of chocolate you can consumer over the festive period

Drop subtle (or not so subtle hints) for Christmas presents that can improve your business

It might be something as small as that business book everyone has told you to read

It might be something bigger such as a training course you need to grow your business or a new laptop because your old one is nearly dying

5. Enjoy The Time Off
Last but not least

Enjoy the time off

You’ve probably gone from 9am-5am to 7am till 9pm each day (as well as working at the weekends)

You deserve this time off

Switch off as much possible

One of the biggest joys about running your own business is taking your birthday off and having 2 weeks off for Christmas

Spend interrupted time with those people that you love

Merry Christmas

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Alex

Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 265+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.

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