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6 Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

When the leaves begin to change, pumpkin spice fills the air, and flannel jackets make their return, you know fall is here and the holidays are right around the corner. Whether you are hosting a holiday showcase, practicing as normal, or cutting back during the holiday season, you want to finish the year strong.

Here are our six tips to stay organized, be prepared, and get ready to pick back up even stronger after the New Year!

Eat the frog

No, we don’t want you to eat a real frog! This expression actually refers to a productivity technique. “Eating the frog” means putting the hardest, biggest, most important item on your to-do list at the top and prioritizing getting it done first.

Use the Eat the Frog technique to start identifying and tackling the big tasks you need to get ahead of before the holiday season. If you “eat the frog” now, you’ll be better equipped to stay flexible and adapt to obstacles the holidays will inevitably bring.

Use a holiday showcase as an end-of-year fundraiser

Regardless of the sport, a holiday showcase can be a great way to raise extra money for your business and highlight your athletes' hard work. Holiday dance recitals, sneak previews of this year's cheer competition routine, or intrasquad gymnastics meets are all great ways to send off your athletes for the year and fundraise at the same time.

To boost showcase attendance, take an “opt-out” approach instead of an “opt-in” approach when inviting parents to the event. An opt-out structure prompts parents to respond only if they are not attending, which eliminates an action item if they do plan to attend. Instead of requesting an RSVP or due payment to track attendance, for example, you can automatically charge tickets to your parents' SportsEngine Motion accounts. Many parents will be more likely to participate in the showcase if they don’t have to take action to purchase the ticket on their own time. And, of course, you can still sell guest tickets at the door using the point of sale system in your mobile app to raise even more funds!

Delegate day-to-day responsibilities to your staff

As a small business owner, you may find it easier to complete tasks yourself, but delegating certain tasks to your staff allows you to spend more time focusing on your largest initiatives and goals, which ultimately help your business long term. Have your office manager, coaches, and assistants tackle the smaller, daily responsibilities like social feed posts, email reminders for schedule changes, and website updates. Delegate. By doing so, you will open up more time to pursue passion projects, like creating new choreography, planning that end-of-year showcase, or hosting a holiday celebration.

Stay on top of communication

The holiday season is the busiest and most hectic of the year; this means good communication is essential. Between showcases, staff parties, holiday closures, or extra practices, make sure your parents and staff are aware of and can stay up-to-date on the schedule for the next few months.

Take advantage of SportsEngine Motion tools like the News Center that allow you to create custom email communications. Build and send out newsletters to promote what’s going on at the gym or studio for the holiday season. Make sure you use eye-catching visuals instead of just text. This draws parents into reading your content. And don’t miss any critical updates! The Social Feed is a great tool for quick reminders and updates like an unexpected studio closure due to weather. SportsEngine Motion even has a filter feature so you can reach specific groups or communicate with individual classes when doing outreach.

Give your brand a refresh

With all of these holiday events on the horizon, more people will be coming to your website seeking the information they need. Take this time to revisit your website design and confirm that you’re putting your best virtual foot forward. Make sure your branding is consistent. This means everywhere from in-studio (or gym) to online. Think about elements like logo size and placement, sponsorships to promote, messaging on your website, and activity on your social channels.

The new year also brings new families! Potential customers may come to your website for the first time to look for information to sign up for a class, purchase a gift card, or use your contact form for information about your programs. It is your responsibility to ensure they can find that information quickly and easily.

Keep morale high

Teachers, coaches, instructors, owners, parents, and athletes have been busy all year and may feel a bit burnt out by the time the holidays come around. After a year of hard work, ups, and downs, and continuing to manage COVID-19, find ways to keep the momentum going and lift morale as the end of the year approaches. Brainstorm new and effective ways to show love and appreciation to your staff and families. Consider sharing your appreciation for your staff both in-person and online, find a time for your organization to volunteer together, and ensure everyone has time to spend with loved ones.

It can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed in the holiday shuffle but set yourself up for success by following some, or all of these tips. Don’t forget to start small! Pick one goal or task, put your focus there, and take it one step at a time. Remember, SportsEngine Motion is always here to act as your business consultant so do not hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager to discuss these tips and brainstorm other ways to have a successful and stress-free holiday season!