The Holiday Survival Guide For Small Business Owners And Freelancers

Source | FastCompany : By MICHAEL GROTHAUS

Shutting off during the holidays can be much harder when you’re a small business owner or freelancer. Not only is your work wherever you are; there’s the fear that if you do try to scale back on work over the holidays, your clients could possibly go elsewhere. And, many established companies have set holidays that enforce some downtime, freelancers included.

There’s also the worry that because not everyone celebrates the holidays, competitors who don’t observe them could usurp some of your business during the festive season.

On the flip side, we know how important it is to take a break and recharge. So how should a small business owner or freelancer manage the annual struggle between work and personal life during the holidays? We asked a few in various industries to give us their best holiday survival tips.


Most freelancers and small business owners will tell you it’s nearly impossible to run your own business if you have bad organizational skills. But we all know that the holiday period can be less than organized with impromptu shopping outings, dinners with friends, and events with family. That’s why Tash Khan, director of Blossoming Gifts, a boutique flower and gift firm, says during the holidays freelancers need to be vigilantly organized—more so than normal.

Khan says being organized includes not only setting up meetings and calls with clients, but also scheduling their time limits to stay on track and ensure there are enough working hours to get things done. “Being organized allows you to be more efficient and enables you to find the time to take out of your schedule to be with family and friends,” says Khan. Plan in some padding on either end of appointments to allow for unexpected overruns, so you can still make that gathering with friends.


Not only should you schedule every single work-related call, meeting, and deadline into your meticulous holiday calendar, you should also schedule downtime in too, says Khan.

“It is important to find time to wind down or be around family,” says Khan. “By setting this time aside you essentially give yourself a deadline for when certain things need to be done to ensure that you can have that uninterrupted downtime and not worry about incomplete tasks.”

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