It’s almost that time of year again for sleigh bells, eggnog, and all the fa la la la la of end-of-year festivities. But with all the fun (and food!) the holidays bring, they can also be an added stress on your already busy schedule.

For service providers and small business owners, the holidays can be a hectic time of product and package sales, and last-minute appointments or classes. There’s also your holiday schedule and holiday emails to think about — on top of your own festivities with family and friends.

Luckily, booking apps like Schedulicity give you all the tools you need to take full control of your schedule: on-the-go calendar and marketing tools, plus built-in payment processing.

To help make sure you’re ahead of the game this year, we put together everything you need to know to get your calendar prepped for the holidays. (Unfortunately you’re on your own prepping the turkey.)

Set Your Holiday Schedule Early

We all know the holidays can sneak up on you. (Who doesn’t wait until the last minute to buy presents?!) That’s why it’s smart to have your schedule prepped and set well before the holiday rush.

If you’re a Schedulicity business with us, here’s how you can choose days off, edit your schedule, and even set a “Future Schedule” to automatically take over around the holidays.

Pro tip: Don’t have a Schedulicity account yet? Sign up now and get 30 DAYS FREE — on us!

Add Vacation Days

If you already know ahead of time which days off you need this year, you can go ahead and mark those days as “out” so clients aren’t able to book for those days.

From within your Schedulicity account:

  1. Open Settings and go to the “Providers/Instructors” tile
  2. Select the provider name from the list
  3. To the right of the “Days Off” header, select the “Add” button
  4. Then select the days which you’d like off right from that mini calendar. Those days will turn blue so you know they’re selected.
  5. Lastly, make sure to save your changes to apply these days off

Adjust Your Available Hours

Sometimes the holiday season is such a frenzy of appointments and sales, you want to reduce your availability to give yourself more breathing room. If that’s the case for you and your business, check out the following steps to block off more of your schedule for specific days*.

From within your Schedulicity account:

  1. Open your Appointment Calendar and you’ll find a gear icon at the top right corner of the screen. This is what you can use to edit your schedule on the fly or adjust one day in particular!
  2. Click on this icon to adjust the start/end time of your days or even mark them as Out completely. Of course, you can also open a day you don’t normally work as well.
  3. Hitting save will immediately adjust your schedule for only those days you have edited.

*Keep in mind that this will only edit your schedule for the specific days you choose and won’t affect your recurring work schedule in your provider profile.

Set a Future Schedule

Schedulicity’s “Future Schedule” tool is sometimes missed by businesses when taking vacations, but it’s a great feature when you know your schedule will be changing temporarily. It’s especially handy for seasonal changes, like the upcoming holidays.

From within your Schedulicity account:

  1. Open Settings and click on theProviders/Instructors” tile
  2. Select the service provider whose schedule you would like to add the future schedule to
  3. Select the “add” button beside the “Future Schedule”
  4. Pick the date on which you’d like the new schedule to start
  5. Enter the start and end times for the days you will be available
  6. Save your changes!

Note: You can create multiple future schedules if your availability will be changing yet again, so go ahead and set another future schedule for when the holidays are over.

Use the Waitlist

Since the holidays are sure to be a busy time, you want to get the most out of your schedule. To make sure you’re covered in the event of any last-minute appointment changes or cancellations, get your service waitlist up and running.

Once you have the waitlist enabled on your account, it’s a breeze for clients to add themselves from your booking page. Then, on your end, you can access the waitlist right from the calendar page to fill in any unexpected gaps.

Send an Email (or Two)

Communication is always key, not only for sharing discounts or monthly updates with clients, but also for keeping your clients informed of your hours and closings.

With Schedulicity’s Email Marketing tools, you can send out a special holiday hours email to let them know what your hours will be for the upcoming holidays. And of course, don’t forget to pitch any holiday sales you have going while you’re at it!

There are a ton of handy templates out there for businesses looking to share their holiday schedule. Here’s a fun template you can work with — just be sure to adjust to your tone and business needs.

Season’s Greetings!

It’s our favorite time of year, which means we’re chugging mugs of cocoa, stuffing our face with cookies, and attempting to memorize every single line of [FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIE]. 

As a heads up, we will not be offering appointments/classes from [DATE] through [DATE] as we celebrate the holidays with family and friends. 

We’ll have limited hours on the following days as well: 

[ENTER DAYS/HOURS FOR THE HOLIDAYS]

We’ll be back to regular hours beginning on [DATE]. In the meantime…

Happy ho-ho-holidays!


Bonus: Don’t Forget Google and Facebook

On top of updating your hours on your website and sharing your schedule with clients via email, you also want to make sure the same info is displayed on your Google Business listing and/or your Facebook Business page

Set Special Hours for Google Business

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
  3. Click the Special hours section.
  4. Click Confirm hours next to an upcoming holiday. Or click Add new date to choose a different date.
  5. Enter the opening and closing times for that day.
    • Slide the circle to “Closed” to indicate that the location is closed all day.
    • If you’re open 24 hours, click Opens at and select 24 hours from the dropdown menu that appears.
    • If you enter closing hours past midnight, make sure to set them properly.
  6. When you’ve finished entering all of your special hours, click Apply. Your special hours will appear to customers on Google only for the designated days.

Set Hours on Your Facebook Business Page

  1. Click About on the left side of your Page.
  2. Click Edit Page Info.
  3. Click the Hours tab at the top.
  4. Add your hours and click Save Changes.

If you don’t see an Hours section, you may need to change your Page’s category.

Note: Facebook also recommends you add a post to notify followers of your updated hours. You can even pin the post to the top of your page during the holidays.