December 12, 2009

The Top Ten Glass Shop Holiday Mistakes

By Paul Bieber

The Holidays in December are festive and joyous, religious and solemn, and give many business owners, even glass company owners, great opportunities to really screw up. Here are the Top Ten Mistakes for you to avoid this Holiday season.

10. Know your holidays. Everyone does not celebrate Christmas. Kwanzaa goes from 12/26 to 1/1; Chanukah from 12/11 to 12/18. Many followers of Eastern religions and Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas. Look at your customer base and plan accordingly. This doesn’t mean do nothing…”Happy Holidays”, or “Season’s Greetings” work for all folks.

9. Don’t stay open after noon on Thursday, 12/24 or Thursday, 12/31. Your employees minds are elsewhere, safety is an issue, and unless you sell holiday presents, you are not going to do any business.

8. Stop the tradition of giving booze to your customers and employees. If you can’t think of something specific for a gift, give a generic gift card. You can always make a donation to a favored charity in honor of specific customers. Most charities will send an acknowledgement to your customer.

7. Don’t confuse personality and performance when giving out holiday bonuses. The smiling kid is probably not more valuable than the grumpy foreman in the shop.

6. When giving a check under $25.00, you don’t have to take out taxes. Giving a check for $21.37, after taxes, looks odd.

5. Never lay-off or fire an employee in the last two weeks of December. It makes you into “Scrooge”. Even if the employee deserves it. If, for instance, he started a fight, suspend him without pay until January 1st, and then terminate him.

4. Don’t buy yourself a new car or take a vacation, and then say there are no holiday checks because of the economy. Even when there are tax advantages to buying that truck or the new edger, wait until mid-January or beyond to take delivery.

3. At your holiday party, avoid touching or hugging employees in an unprofessional way. Do not allow mistletoe as that will make some people uncomfortable, and make some people into fools.

2. Don’t give an employee a promised or scheduled raise and then call it a holiday gift.

1. Do not allow any alcohol to be consumed in your shop under any circumstances. There are too many chances for an injury to occur. If you want to have a drink with your employees, go to a restaurant or bar nearby.