Yes, Small Business Owners, There is a Holiday Season

It’s our favorite time of year at CCC. The holidays bring so much joy and cheer — fun festivities, beautiful decorations and spending time with family and friends. How do you take part while still running your business?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Are you in the holiday spirit?

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five-and-ten, glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.”

Choose your favorite parts

You can’t do everything, so you have to choose. Which parts of the holidays do you enjoy most? Festive activities? Attend local shows and community events. Decorating in style? Spend time making your home shine. Buying the perfect gifts for loved ones? Dedicate your time to shopping for those you hold dear. Whatever areas you choose, be present. Don’t be worrying about your business or what you’re not doing while enjoying your favorite parts of the holiday season.

For example, I decided not to decorate this year. I’m not a Scrooge; I wanted to focus on taking advantage of all of the fun activities this time of year — ice skating, craft/art shows, tree lightings, parades, etc. — and shopping/baking for others, which I love to do. There’s no wrong answer here. Just make a decision and run with it!

How to Guiltlessly Take Time Off to Enjoy the Best Holiday Season Ever

Be smart about running your business 

Yes, you need to continue to run your business during the holidays, but scale back when possible. Commit to specific projects or tasks and focus on completing them within specified time periods. Don’t try to double your growth or take on herculean tasks — especially at this time of year. It’s OK to focus on outside interests and not obsess about your business once in awhile. You may even find that it will make you a better business owner, boss and person.

I’ve been busy this week finishing tasks and meeting deadlines in addition to handling a normal workload. However, I haven’t started new projects or worried about tackling to-dos that can easily be moved to next week, so I can enjoy the wonders of the season.

Time to set limits: Business owners suffer tech overload

Set boundaries and let others know about them

Are you working limited hours throughout the season or on specific days? Let clients and prospective customers know up front, and work with them to plan accordingly. You may be surprised that others want to enjoy the season too and understand that you’re closing up shop to attend your kids’ concert or preserve your family’s tradition of a special day out together. Remember to update your Facebook page, website or other domains where you list hours of availability.

As a small business owner, you may feel the need to check in, which I understand. You can do that without spending the day glued to your phone or working away in another room while everyone else enjoys the festivities. Don’t spend this magical season watching everyone else reconnect, recharge and have a good time. You’ll enter the new year with a case of the holiday blues instead of relaxed, rested and ready to go.

How do you balance your business and life during the holiday season?
What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Enjoy the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

Happy Hanukkah * Merry Christmas * Happy Boxing Day * Happy Kwanzaa

CCC’s Head Elf,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about your holiday traditions, marketing needs or otherwise):
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Enjoy the Most Magical Time of the Year

It’s Christmas — the most magical time of the year! 

Merry Christmas from CCC!

Enjoy it! Unplug if you can. Have conversations with friends and family and give them your undivided attention. Catch up with relatives you haven’t seen. Relax. Have that slice of pie or glass of wine that you might normally skip. In other words, have fun and enjoy the most magical time of the year!

I’ll be chowing down on lasagna, homemade applesauce and peanut butter cream pie. Watching my family open their gifts (that I tapped into my marketing know-how to pick out). Laughing a lot. Discussing off-beat topics. Enjoying the wonder of my nephew’s first Christmas.

Thank you to all of our soldiers and first responders who spend the Holidays away from their families. We appreciate your sacrifice!

How do you celebrate Christmas?

Merry Christmas!
Jaime & the CCC crew

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Christmas: A Tradition Like No Other

Merry Christmas, baby!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Clearly Conveyed Communications! A heartfelt thank you for reading the musings on the CCC blog while taking the time to like, comment on and share our posts. We appreciate you, dear reader!

So it’s another Christmas Eve, and I find myself taking comfort in Holiday traditions, some new and some old. Every year for what seems like eons, we’ve converged on my great Aunt & Uncle’s home with scores of other family and friends to celebrate another year. It’s fun, loud and slightly chaotic, but always a good time. This is in direct contrast to the peaceful, soothing Christmas Eve service I look forward to every year at the church I grew up attending. Singing Silent Night in a candlelit church is an amazing experience that always leaves me with goose bumps.

Other traditions in our household:

  • A Christmas Story — my favorite Holiday movie which I have to watch each year (preferably more than once). I finally picked up a copy last week, so now I can watch it the whole year through. This is a Holiday must. I triple dog dare you!
  • Leg Lamp Cookies — one day I saw a leg lamp cookie cutout and it was on. Now I bring Holiday delight to Christmas each year in the form of the best lamp ever. (I even blogged about it –> What Making Leg Lamp Cookies Taught Me About My Business)
  • Nativity Scene — my little kids nativity scene is one of my favorite decorations (bottom right hand corner of above pic). I bought it when I lived in my first apartment, so it’s been a part of my life for a *few* years now. Makes me smile whenever I see it.
  • Christmas Cards — I love cards! I know it’s old school, but I still send people cards and love to receive them. It’s a rarity today to receive a handwritten card, so I even send them for my business. They’re a lot of work but worth it!
  • Christmas Tree — I love my white tree, it’s bright light and all of the ornaments I hang each year. From Big Ben to Cabbage Patch Kids, homemade and store bought, all have special memories. This tree will always hold a special place in my heart.

I’ll leave you with this… If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. We’re the ones with the leg lamp in the window.

leg lamp

It’s FRA-GI-LE. Must be Italian!

What Christmas traditions do you enjoy?

p.s. We appreciate ALL of our readers. If you do not celebrate Christmas, a belated Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or enjoy the Holiday season however you choose to do so. Cheers!

Santa’s top elf,
Jaime

In the Holiday spirit, connect with us!
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Go On Holiday, And Take Your Business With You

Wednesday was Boss’s Day and tomorrow is Sweetest Day; Monday, we celebrated Columbus discovering America (and railroading the natives out of town) while our Canadian friends were being thankful. Halloween, one of the biggest retail holidays of the year (second only to Christmas in money spent), looms large at the end of the month. Who am I going to see at my door more this year — Miley Cyrus or Anastasia Steele?

Griswold's House in Christmas Vacation

Holidays are excellent marketing opportunities for your business. Just don’t take it too far.
Pic credit: Hooked on Houses (CCC)

What does this have to do with your business? More than you think, actually. Holidays, from the sincere to the commercially created (thanks Hallmark!), present excellent, and often missed, opportunities to successfully market your business.

This is your chance to be creative and think of unique ways to tie your products and services into a holiday or special day. Keep your business’s voice in mind as you come up with a campaign. Is your tone cheeky? Conservative? You don’t want to stray too far from your regular marketing efforts or the association will seem far-fetched or forced. We’ve all seen one too many President’s Day car commercials which have no point beyond an obscure ‘Lincoln’ reference.

A few holiday-related marketing efforts have caught my attention. One such effort was from Durex, the condom manufacturer. As you would expect from a company in its field, Durex likes to have fun with its subject matter, in order to erase some of the taboo associated with its product. This Father’s Day ad is eye-catching, spot on tone-wise and priceless.

Father's Day Durex ad

Happy Father’s Day from your friends at Durex — especially if you use their competitor’s products.
Pic credit: Adweek

Another effort that stood out to me was from the leader of the digital world, Google. The search giant put together an impressive Mother’s Day effort, showcasing how many of its products and services could help you celebrate this sentimental holiday. A special landing page brought everything together, including this fun video (remember, YouTube is owned by Google):

Holiday Talk

What’s your favorite holiday-related marketing effort?

What holidays or special days can your business associate with?

What’s your favorite holiday or celebration?

Happy Holidays!
Jaime

Every day’s a holiday on social media… 
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