It’s November and although the holidays may seem far away, if you’re planning to have a holiday party for your small business, you’d better get moving on your plans. Hotels, restaurants and other party locations book up far in advance, so it’s not too soon to start thinking about this year’s holiday celebration. Here are some tips for keeping it festive while still under budget.
- Choose an off time. Booking your event on a weeknight or even during the day rather than a more popular time such as a Friday night can save you big bucks. You might even consider having a holiday luncheon and letting your employees take the rest of the afternoon off. You’ll save on menu items, drinks and venue rental costs.
- Host at home. If your company is small enough, your home is big enough and you feel comfortable enough with your employees, hosting your holiday party at your home is a great way to build bonds with your staff. It feels extra-special when they’re invited into your home, and you save money on venue rental to boot.
- Celebrate in the office. Depending on your staff and the “vibe” you want to create, having a party in the office can be just as much fun as going to an outside location—especially if you spend the money you’d normally spend on a venue bringing in better food, fun activities that your team will enjoy or otherwise creating a festive environment.
- Time it right. No rule says you have to have your holiday party in November or December. Consider hosting a New Year’s celebration in January instead—it starts 2013 off with a bang, saves you money and gives employees more time to spend on personal matters (like holiday shopping) during the already-busy holiday season. This can work especially well if, like many small businesses, the holidays are your busiest time of the year.
- Speech, speech! No holiday party is complete without the boss (that’s you) thanking the team for a great year. Personal recognition such as gift certificates, cash bonuses or actual gifts for each employee are always great, too. Top it off with a handwritten, personal card that tells each employee something you appreciate about them.
Whatever decisions you make about your company holiday party, “personal” is key to making the event fun, meaningful and memorable—so feel free to do things your way.
Image by Flickr user Mike_fleming (Creative Commons)Google+