Home for the Holidays

Beverley Williams

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose and Santa Claus coming to town are things that usually summon forth warm thoughts about the coming holidays. But whether you celebrate Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas, Easter, or Passover, for home-based business owners, it can bring about a case of the—


Home Office Holiday Horrors!

Striking a balance between work and the many demands and distractions brought on by the holidays can be frustrating. Try these tips for surviving the holidays without sacrificing your business.

Be Realistic - When you are already working more than 40 hours per week, adding holiday shopping and entertaining can bust your time budget. Use the A, B, C method of prioritization to manage your responsibilities and expectations—A: being the most important, like sending out your invoices and meeting client deadlines and C: being least imperative, such as decorating the house.

Hold On To Your Money - If you upgrade your office equipment or buy new furniture for the office before the end of the year, you can deduct it from your taxes. By the way, holiday greeting cards to business associates are also legitimate business expenses. And before you make any quick purchasing decisions on office equipment or furniture, check out holiday sales, flea markets, and moving sales for great buys.

Don’t Leave Your Business Unattended - With efficient office equipment you shouldn’t have to. When considering your office equipment needs make sure the product you choose requires little to no maintenance; saves time and money; and allows you to get the job done without leaving the office.

Remember Your Clients - And they’ll remember you! Today’s technology allows you to send professional looking cards and letters thanking your clients for their business throughout the year. Date to be different. Create your own personalized holiday greeting letters or postcards on your computer and then copy them using brightly colored blue, red, green or brown toner in your personal copier right from your home office.

Include Your Family - Instead of telling them you’re too busy to go shopping or to play in the snow, have them help in your office by sealing envelopes, copying tax papers, sharpening pencils, or filing if possible. The time you save having them help can be spent doing holiday activities together.

Decorate Your Office - Add some holiday cheer to your work environment by sprucing up your office with greeting cards, mistletoe, and festive decorations. An aesthetically pleasing workspace is a real motivating mood booster.

Do Something Charitable In the Name of Your Business - Donate a food basket or provide a service to a charitable organization in the name of your business. You’ll feel good and you’ll be giving something back to the community.

Avoid Isolation and Have Some Fun - Invite your clients to an informal open house at your office. Today’s trend to live and work under the same roof tends to isolate us from face to face contact with our clients.

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