October is over. We have officially entered what businesses call “the holiday season,” with themed sales going live almost daily. As the holiday season unfolds, finding the delicate equilibrium between family festivities and business responsibilities becomes a juggling act for many entrepreneurs.
Navigating the intersection of family and business during this joyous yet demanding time requires a strategic approach. In this blog, we’ll explore how staff augmentation can be the key to achieving that elusive equilibrium.
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The Problem at Hand
Balancing your familial and business commitments is a challenge. Every businessman and woman is deeply familiar with it. But balancing becomes a hundred times more complex during the holiday season.
Entrepreneurs are faced with problems such as whether to close the business and let employees celebrate the holidays. Or they have to decide whether to keep doors open because it is the ideal time for selling products.
Indeed, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas, among the myriad cultural and religious festivities celebrated across the US, are a time for spreading joy and cheer.
According to the NRF, the 2023 holiday season is on track to achieving a record 3-4% consumer spending increase over the 2022 holidays, between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. These numbers cannot be ignored. In the case of almost all retail businesses, the holiday season is when they make a large chunk of their annual income.
Occasions like Black Friday are considered festivities, with everyone looking forward the whole year for Black Friday sales.
In all of this, entrepreneurs are faced with the question:
How to run their business and capitalize on all of this sales potential without overworking the employees or unfairly holding them at work, away from their families.
The ethical action would be to sacrifice revenue to favor the holiday spirit. However, many businesses do not have the luxury of letting go of this one-a-year opportunity to make their profit.
If the numbers are to be trusted, Constant Contact’s recent Small Business Now holiday edition reports that 50% of SMBs attribute around 25% of their annual revenue to the holiday season, and in the case of retailers specifically, 50% of their annual revenue is attributed to holiday sales.
Is There a Way to Manage Work During the Holiday Season?
So, many business owners are forced to make the tough decision of having their employees clock in during the holidays, which undoubtedly affects company morale, as well as just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But what if we were to say that businesses can ensure that their businesses take full advantage of the holiday season without needing to sacrifice the team’s well-being?
You might think this a jest, but we assure you, this is absolutely possible, and with the holiday season in full swing as we speak, it’s the perfect time to talk about this miraculous solution: staff augmentation.
Achieving Equilibrium Between Family and Business with Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation, for those not informed, is the process by which businesses can enlist the aid of off-shore, remote professionals to help fill labor and skill gaps in their workforce. Service providers typically facilitate staff augmentation arrangements, connecting businesses to remote professionals that can be onboarded to the business’ staff.
Usually, businesses are inclined towards seeking out accounting and bookkeeping staff augmentation services or supply chain staff augmentation services. IT and programming are another popular choice.
As to how staff augmentation can solve this problem, and seemingly quite easily at that, let’s break it down.
The Holiday Season is Not Universal
Most Western countries do not celebrate the last two months of the year as a back-to-back holiday extravaganza. This is not the case for everyone. For example, places such as the Middle East and South Asia observe holiday seasons at different times of the year. This means the holiday season excludes anybody working out of those places.
This is precisely why leveraging staff augmentation services is such a brilliant solution to the problem at hand. Just because it’s the holiday season in the US doesn’t mean it’s the case in the rest of the world. Thanks to the advanced technology we have access to today, businesses can simply hire remote staff on a short-term basis. This will help them cope with the surge in holiday traffic.
They can also give the regular team a deserved break for the holidays. And since the remote staff are not subject to American festivities, you can rest easy knowing that you are not spoiling anyone’s special family time for your business needs.
Remote Professionals Can Manage All Core Functions
Even with part of the staff being remote, there will still be some portion of work that will need on-site management. But this might be far from the truth. Not only do accounting and bookkeeping staff augmentation firms exist. There are supply chain management staff augmentation firms, IT and customer service staff augmentation firms, and so on. Hence, you can leave the core functions to your augmented staff every step of the way. And regularly check in yourself when you have the time to ensure all is going well.
Of course, some things, such as product delivery and logistics, require personnel. For as much of the problem as staff augmentation does solve will, unfortunately, have to remain for the foreseeable future.
Remote Professionals Can Act as Supplemental Staff
Even if your business is operational during the holidays, with all your onsite staff clocking in, it may not be enough. Especially in the retail and e-commerce sector, customers are booking orders and making inquiries around the clock. Businesses that do not invest in having around-the-clock personnel availability end up losing to competition that does have that infrastructure.
With staff augmentation, even this kind of issue is very easily addressable. Say your regular staff works the full day shift and clocks out at 10 pm. Well, instead of closing up shop completely and leaving customers waiting till the morning to get an answer, businesses can retain customer-facing personnel through staff augmentation firms to work when the business is on downtime onsite.
Many employees also cash in on their saved vacation time during the holidays, with IBMadison reporting that 77% of employees are planning to do just that, and it is quite bad to deny them. But with staff augmentation, you can let your staff take their vacations and fill their vacancy temporarily with augmented staff. When they are back, they can simply take back over.
Encourage open communication with your team about their holiday plans and preferences. Some employees may appreciate additional holiday responsibilities, while others prioritize time off. Staff augmentation allows you to accommodate these preferences without compromising on business objectives.
Today’s fact that a business can run entirely on augmented, remote staff is a testament to how far we have come technologically. The business landscape is changing dramatically, and with staff augmentation and outsourcing allowing businesses to remain operational 24/7, 365 days a year, competition is about to get incredibly stiff.
Whether it be accounting and bookkeeping staff augmentation services, which we personally recommend businesses opt for, given the sheer amount of financial workload that comes with the last quarter of the year, staff augmentation is the secret to striking that delicate balance between business and family. Thus, everyone around you gets to have a happy, joyful holiday season.