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On The Street: How does your small business prepare for the holidays?

Whether it’s hiring more staff, changing the hours of operation, marketing their services more than usual, or limiting time off for their employees, many small businesses operate just a little differently when it comes to the holiday season. ADVANTAGE asked its readers what they do to prepare and plan for the holiday season.

 It is the slowest time of the year for us so we work on things we need to do for the upcoming tax season, like order filing supplies and folders, write out new year information letters, and get tax organizers put together to send out to our clients. We also work on getting out articles on the new year and its tax changes. We’ll be using this time to upgrade our website and networks as well. A lot of little things to do to get the infrastructure in place for a big tax season ahead.

—Keith Johnson, Owner, Keith E. Johnson, CPA PA

We’ve created a holiday gift guide that is posted on our website and distributed to our customers. In addition, I hire seasonal workers to assist in the production and delivery of our arrangements. I am also only open for limited hours on Thanksgiving Day, and am closed Christmas and New Year’s days. —Lauren Little, Owner, Two Edible Arrangements Franchises

Last year, around Thanksgiving weekend, I sat down in my office and created my business plan for the next year. The business plan gave me a roadmap for 2010 and I have stayed on course. I plan to do the same thing this year.

—Thomas McKay, Owner, McKay Financial Solutions LLC

With the right attitude and a strong cup of coffee, I begin implementing my strategy to under promise and over deliver with each customer that walks through my door. I want to create a memorable shopping experience for anyone looking for a puppy, getting their pet groomed, or just needing a little puppy love therapy. I look around to make sure my staff is feeling the love and helping me develop this fun, attractive atmosphere throughout the day! —Lynn Lamoureux, Owner, PetWorld

Being in the service business, the downtime is a perfect opportunity to perform long duration maintenance tasks. But not working is not a possibility or smart as some of these items can take days, and stopping part of the production for days is just not possible. —Robert Sexton, IT Consultant, Sexton Companies Inc.

Life crisis situations do not stop because there is a holiday so I will be working right through. —Lucille Ferry, CEO, The Foxglove Foundation Inc.

We work [extremely hard] and then close the office between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

—Lewis Hunter, Owner, Hunter & Associates PA

We generally work up until the 19th and take off until the fifth of the year to recharge and set our plans for the following year.

—Jigs McHugh, principal, Lead Generation Marketing Inc.


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