Need a Holiday Break? Here’s How To Do It Right

December 13, 2012

Does the thought of closing down for the holidays scare you? You are not alone.

As a freelancer, I always struggled at this time of year because I didn’t want to work on any major projects until January, but knew it was important to continue marketing and booking clients for later.

I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay to not feel bad for shutting down during the holidays, it can in fact be one of the best times of year for your business. The key is in your approach (and this may surprise you): take on a little more, not less.

Here’s how:

Tell Your Clients

Even if I didn’t have client work deadlines during the holidays, I still made a point to reach out to all my clients and let them know anyway. It was something I did so they’d know I was thinking of them and it was also a little strategic because I could use the same email to inquire about new work in order to line up projects for my return in the New Year.

Pick up Extra Work

Assuming that you won’t get paid for your time off, you might want to have some money set aside to sustain yourself over the break. Even if that means working a little longer than usual, try to pick up some extra work now so you can sock away the earnings for your time off. If you keep the upcoming break in mind you’ll get through it.

Save Your Money

With that extra work, you’ve got some money saved up for your break. If possible, put yourself on a strict “holiday budget” while you’re off so you don’t go spending all that hard-earned money in one place. After bills, you may find yourself compelled to use up the rest on some Boxing Day sales, but if you have the willpower to sustain those ideas, you’ll walk away with extra money you can use for emergencies or reinvesting in your business when you return from your vacation.

Pay Your Bills in Advance

Who wants to pay bills while on vacation? I certainly didn’t, which is why I always tried to pay my bills before I took my time off. Besides the traditional bills, I also made sure to pay my contractors earlier so they too could enjoy the funds for their holiday needs.

Make Your List, Check it Twice

Before you officially leave, think about creating a schedule of projects and deadlines you have in the New Year so you can jump right back into work upon your return. You may also consider creating a hearty to-do list for the New Year so you can get all those gnawing tasks out of your head before you take time off.

The free app I use for my giant to-do list is Wunderlist, which allows me to sync my lists across different devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Mac). So even if you’ve started your vacation and realize you forgot to add an important task to your to do list, with Wunderlist you can actually just hop on quickly from wherever you are, add it in and get back to enjoying your day off.

Get Back to Work

If you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to park your business for a little while to enjoy some much deserved holiday cheer.

about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.

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