It’s a time of festive lights, warm drinks, and staying snuggly wrapped up. It’s also a time of snow, cold, and dangerous roads. Winter and the holiday season doesn’t just affect our personal lives, it also affects our business. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst.

Here are a few ways to make sure yours navigates the cold, festive months the best it possibly can. Just make sure you have a new boiler installed to keep the office nice and warm over the winter period.

The most wonderful time of the year

For a lot of businesses, the holiday season is by far the best of all for their sales. If you sell products or certain services perfect for gift-giving, it might be the high-point you rely on. But are you really doing enough to capitalise on it? For instance, you can incentivise more sales by providing the same products in deals that, even if they are slight, will tempt more purchases. Or you can think about expanding into a seasonal, thematic product perfect for the holidays. Even a difference in packaging can show a serious increase in sales.

Get into the festive cheer

When the holidays are approaching, your employees are going to be feeling it, too. Yes, their Christmas planning can sometimes get in the way of work and you should pull them up on it but don’t be a Grinch. Play into the holiday spirit, with electronic gift cards from services like JibJab and an office Christmas party. Just beware any that mixes drinking and colleagues by setting a limit. It is a genuinely special time of year for a lot of people, even the more cynical amongst them and failing to loosen up a little can have a bigger impact on company culture than you might think.

The winter blues

Not everyone is as happy with the season as others, however. Some people are miserable in the cold, some feel even more lonely at Christmas, and you may very well have employees who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a serious emotional health condition that has far reaching impacts on the mood and motivation of the individual. It is the time to focus on keeping employee morale high not just by getting into the season. Think about using the end of year to provide rewards and bonuses for good work, and just be a little more kind and understanding with your employees.

Weather the snowstorm

There are going to be plenty of logistic problems to consider as well, especially for those commuting on the roads. They’re going to be harder to navigate and more dangerous than ever, so prepare for both late arrivals and absences. In fact, it might be a good idea to allow late arrivals in order to encourage your team to drive slower and more safely on the road. To deal with absences, think about setting up remote work so even homebound employees can manage to contribute.

The holidays might seem like they pass by quickly, but winter is three months a year that can drastically improve or endanger your business. Be aware of both sides of the coin and make sure you have a strategy to capitalize and cope with both of them.