The holidays can be a busy time for small business owners. Or, it can be a slow season. Most entrepreneurs hope to find a nice balance somewhere in the middle. When you run an online  business, it can seem nearly impossible to find the time and motivation to unplug from your business  and take time off.
It may seem like second nature to just bring your laptop everywhere and connect to WiFi or to complete business-related tasks late at night when you’re bored at home. If you do take time off to travel or celebrate the holidays, you may feel worried about your business collapsing while you’re gone.
Getting an Online Business Ready for the Holidays
If you want to continue making money over the holiday season  and also feel confident enough to step away from work to enjoy this time of year, here are some key ways to prep your online business for holiday success.
Start Working Ahead
If you tend to have a consistent flow  of work and projects during the holiday season, be sure to start working ahead if you wish to take any time off. Even if you don’t plan on taking a lot of time off, working ahead around this time of year is wise because other people in your business may need time off.
If someone is taking a trip but you need their help for an important project you wanted to accomplish before the end of the year, their absence could slow you down.
That’s why it’s best to work ahead so you don’t have to experience any holiday slow down.
Set Deadlines For Networking Opportunities
If you want to connect with someone for your business, now is the time to do it. Set up meetings with potential partners or other entrepreneurs before they get too preoccupied.
There may even be some holiday networking events , online workshops or webinars you can attend to boost your business over the next few months.
Even if you aren’t able to get anything additional done, you can still network and plant the seed this year then follow up after the holidays. You can also use what you learn in webinars and at events and create a plan to start implementing strategies in the new year.
Schedule Out Marketing Emails
If you’re going to launch  a product or promote a holiday sale, be sure to schedule out your marketing emails in advance so you aren’t doing it manually. Send out teasers in advance so your audience knows that you’ll have a special announcement or promotion coming up soon.
Include FAQ details in your scheduled emails to eliminate extra customer service work or you may even want to hire someone to work a chat feature on your sales page to assist people who are considering buying your offer.
Automate Your Sales Funnels
While the holiday season is a great time to sell, it’s also a great time to gather leads and build rapport. Don’t forget to automate  your sales funnel for your online business as the holidays roll around.
Your sales funnel should already be automated to some degree, but you may want to create or update your Facebook ad campaign or create a new holiday offer to gain more leads and followers.
Offer valuable content and possibly even gear your audience up for a challenge or training to take place in the new year.
The holidays can slow things down, but that doesn’t mean your business has to experience a lull as well. Use these strategies to help keep your business running smoothly and your income flowing steadily when the holidays hit
Republished by permission. Original here