By Randy Duermyer
Updated February 24, 2016
While you’re running around to shops looking for last minute gifts or baking up a storm in the kitchen and worrying about getting your holiday decorations in place, it’s probable that you’re not thinking about starting a business at this time of year. But are there any benefits to doing so?
Advantages to Starting a Business During the Holidays
There may be a few advantages to starting a business at the end of the year – say between Thanksgiving and Christmas or whatever seasonal holidays you celebrate in December, including:
Most shoppers are in a buying mood. If you plan to sell products this could work to your advantage, especially if you plan on starting a business that involves selling gift items.
You may be able to reap some tax advantages by starting a business before the end of the year, specifically by capturing some deductions, including, but not limited to office-in-home tax deductions.
Because stores are very competitive and offer extended sales during the holidays, you might be able to find some good deals on the supplies and equipment your need for starting a business, so you might conceivably get a bit of a break on your start up costs.
Disadvantages to Starting a Business During the Holidays
Besides the fact that most of us feel unduly stressed during the holidays, there are other reasons why you might not want to take the plunge and start your own business just yet, including:
Starting a business isn’t something you should do on a whim. It takes proper planning, including developing at least an informal business plan. No matter when you decide to actually start your business, you need to make sure you’ve thought it out carefully – especially if this is going to be a full-time business for you. You’ll need to get your financial house in order and make sure you’ve also addressed some important issues, such as the health insurance issues faced by the self-employed before you quit your day job.
If you’re planning on selling products, especially gift items, it’s likely that this will be the busiest time of year for your business – next year! Trying to get any kind of business marketing and sales strategy in place and get some buzz going for your business takes time and is not something you can likely accomplish in a month.
While we all like to think of the holiday season as a joyous time, it’s not always so joyous and happy for everyone. If you still need to gain your family’s support in order to start your home business, you could either get lucky and catch everyone in the holiday spirit and receive their unconditional support for starting a business, or you could catch a few of your family members – say your significant other – at a bit of a down time. Maybe that’s because they’re feeling stressed or disappointed during the holidays. Announcing your decision to start a business now may not be the best time to approach them with the idea.
What Else the Holidays Have to Offer for Starting a Business or Working at Home
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a work-at-home wannabe, the holidays can be a very good time for you to re-group, start outlining your strategy to start and market your business and take stock of what you’ll need to do in the year ahead to make your dreams of starting a business or working at home come true for you.
If you’re currently working for someone else, chances are you’ll be getting some time off for the holidays. Maybe you’ll have to travel. Traveling and time off can be good for soul searching because they can give you some time to think about what you want to do, how you’ll go about getting it done, what you’ll need to know and more. Either some quiet time to yourself at home or a chance to get away from your everyday environment for a few days or more, could be just the spark you need to ignite your ideas for starting a business.
You may decide that instead of starting a business, you want to find a work at home job, since it will offer more freedom and flexibility without the risk of actually starting a business of your own.
If you want to find work-at-home employment, having the time off could give you some extra time to look around and see what work at home jobs are available. Don’t fall into the trap that everyone else does – “No one’s hiring until after the holidays”. You can use this time to your advantage as your competition may be a bit less due to the large number of people who are convinced that they shouldn’t take any action until after the first of next year. And, since landing the job and picking a start date takes time, you might be able to time it just right so that you’ll have your job in place and be ready to start in early January – just when everyone else is resuming their search and dreading being back in the office!
Making Your New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re not ready or willing to start a business or find a work at home job during the holidays, my advice would be to do your thinking and planning now, start laying the groundwork to make your move and then resolve to make next year the year you make your dream of starting a business or finding work at home come true. Develop your game plan. In the meantime, enjoy your family and friends during this holiday season without rushing into any major decisions and creating even more holiday stress.