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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5 Cool Gift Ideas for Creative Professionals

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! While some people stress over gift-giving, we enjoy the process of finding the perfect gifts for everyone on our list. (It even sharpens our marketing skills!)

Danbo Santa Claus by Takashi Hososhima via CC BY-SA 2.0

Danbo Santa Claus by Takashi Hososhima via CC BY-SA 2.0 http://bit.ly/2gWkJS8

If you’re buying for a creative professional, check out our ideas for the mad men or women in your life.

Moleskine Notebooks
Creatives love notebooks, and these are the cream of the crop. Of course you don’t have to buy Moleskine, but they do offer special, themed and creativity styles along with personalization. Looking to splurge? Consider the Smart Writing Set.

Starbucks (or enter favorite coffee shop here) Gift Card
Coffee shops are a second home or office for creatives. There’s just something about the atmosphere that gets the juices flowing. A Starbucks gift card is a charger for a creative and may lead to a breakthrough that changes your recipient’s life. Remember to take some credit if that happens!

Cool Travel Mug / Coffee Mug 
Notice that we said cool. Creative types are typically coffee fans, so they need a cool travel mug when they’re on the go and a traditional mug at home or in the office. Think about your recipient’s tastes — favorite shows, authors, teams, movies — and don’t forget about the aforementioned coffee shop. Pick up some cool swag from your recipient’s favorite coffee shop and include a gift card. Win-win!

Active Lifestyle Accessories 
Maybe it’s the constant brain activity or coffee consumption, but creative types are usually active people. Whether it’s bicycling, running, hiking or globe-trotting, your recipient probably has a favorite active or outdoor activity. Whatever it is, there’s plenty of equipment and accessories that fit in a variety of budgets.

Bring the Juice
If coffee shops are chargers for creatives, then they’ll need plenty of battery power for their electronics. Mobile chargers are a must for creative professionals, because they’re always on the move and take their gadgets with them. Keep their specific needs and tastes in mind (along with your budget), and find the item that’s perfect for the creative guy or gal in your life.

Bonus: Vacation
If you really want to splurge, every creative professional we know would love a vacation! It doesn’t have to be grand; book a night at a nice hotel or a quick weekend getaway. Give a break from the routine with an experience your recipient will always remember — a spa day, sky diving adventure, swimming with sharks expedition or a trip to your recipient’s favorite author’s museum or hometown.

What ideas would you add?

Do you enjoy the gift-giving process or does it stress you out?

p.s. If you’re still stuck on what to buy the creative person in your life, let us know. We’d be happy to help you out with some suggestions — no strings attached!

p.s.s. Is your creative professional overwhelmed with work? Perhaps our marketing, writing or social media services would help. We do offer gift certificates!

CCC’s CCO (Chief Creative Officer),
Jaime

Let’s chat (about gifts for creatives, your 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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