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No Need to Say Bah-Humbug: Plan a Fun and Affordable Holiday Event.

No Need to Say Bah-Humbug: Plan a Fun and Affordable Holiday Event.

By Solovic
Published: December 1, 2011

<p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d; min-height: 14.0px">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">As we begin this holiday season, a lot of small business owners say they don&rsquo;t feel much like celebrating.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s been another tough year, and there isn&rsquo;t much evidence the economy is going to get any better in the near future.&nbsp; As a result, many of the small business owners I&rsquo;ve talked to aren&rsquo;t planning a holiday party for their team this year.&nbsp; There simply isn&rsquo;t enough in the budget for a seasonal soiree. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; While it&rsquo;s understandable that cash-strapped businesses may be reluctant to host a traditional company party, keep in mind that these holiday get-togethers are an excellent way to say thanks to your team.&nbsp; Plus, they serve as a good morale booster for the coming year.&nbsp; There are ways to host a fun holiday gathering for your employees without breaking the bank.&nbsp; Here are a few ideas&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">* <b>Time of Day.&nbsp; </b>Consider hosting an event during the day rather than the evening.&nbsp; Breakfast or lunch gatherings are less expensive than evening events.&nbsp; Also, the day of the week you select can make a difference, too.&nbsp; The least expensive days are Monday and Tuesday when restaurants and other venues are not as busy.&nbsp; You should be able to negotiate a much better deal than if you host your event during a busy holiday weekend.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">*&nbsp; <b>Venue Selection.&nbsp; </b>Host your party in the office or in your home instead of at a restaurant or other off-site facility.&nbsp; If you choose the office, make sure the environment is festive.&nbsp; Turn on some music and get employees involved with decorations.&nbsp; You don&rsquo;t want it to feel like another boring business meeting with food. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">* &nbsp;<b> Bring a Dish.&nbsp; </b>A Potluck party can be fun and inexpensive.&nbsp; Ask your employees to participate by bringing in a favorite dish.&nbsp; Encourage them to bring copies of their recipes for exchange, too.&nbsp; Speaking of recipes, some businesses are opting for a holiday party cooking class instead of a traditional potluck.</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">*&nbsp; <b>No Plus One.&nbsp; </b>Another way small businesses are managing costs is by making the holiday party an employee-only event.&nbsp; If you prefer to allow your employees to invite a guest, ask them to contribute to cover the cost of the additional person. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">*&nbsp; <b>Barter.&nbsp; </b>Bartering is always popular with small businesses, so why not barter for your holiday event?&nbsp; You could barter with a caterer or restaurant venue.&nbsp; The same is true for employee or customer gifts. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">*&nbsp; <b>Give Back.&nbsp; </b>Conduct a food or clothing drive with your staff and arrange to deliver everything to the designated charity together.&nbsp; Turn it into a fun, festive time that everyone feels good about. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #13254d"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">*&nbsp; <b>Post Holiday Event.&nbsp; </b>Finally, you don&rsquo;t have to hold your holiday party in the middle of the holiday season.&nbsp; Consider waiting until January.&nbsp; Not only will you find better deals, but also you won&rsquo;t be competing with all the other holiday activities. &nbsp;</span></p>

About the Author:

Susan Solovic
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and a small business contributor to ABC News and other media outlets, public speaker and attorney. In addition to sitting on several executive boards of small business organizations, Solovic is the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com – a company she led from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise.(formerly SBTV.com) She is also a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact, WSJ.com and Fast Company. Her forthcoming book, It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss, is scheduled for release in October 2011.