It’s that time of year when life changes for almost everyone. If you are new to the industry you won’t know what the holiday brings. If you are experienced you will probably find that the holiday’s bring a big change to the industry in many ways. This is one of the ONLY times of the year that our industry does a major slow down. You may find that the beginning of Dec – to mid December can be fruitful as we work on holiday commercials and clients struggle to finish their projects for the year end. But come late December we usually see a complete slow down of the industry.
Of course this isnt’ the same for everyone, after all TV shows still need to be promoted, radio stations still need their liners and clients still have to advertise, but I have always found that when the holidays approach, the clients actually take time off. Businesses slow down and therefore everyone assumes they can’t get anything done. That doesn’t mean you won’t be asked to voice on Christmas day either. How you handle the holidays is completely up to you.
One thing is typically true is that the holidays are a great time to actually enjoy some genuine time off. This is usually a time when families spend quality time together and get to actually enjoy a day or two of not having to be quiet or flush the toilet while you record, so take time to enjoy that with them and celebrate their support and your much needed time with family. However remember there are many out there that do not celebrate or acknowledge the holidays – so there is still work to be done.
I have always seen a pattern with the holidays and I prepare as such. Usually in December I make the least amount of money for the year, so I do my very best to prepare for this. It changes year to year, but if I bank up for this time of year and it’s busy – then I have some bonus holiday money. If I don’t bank up, it can put a ton of pressure on my financially if I don’t prepare. Much like we should be preparing for tax time and putting away that reserve for when we may have to pay taxes, we should also be putting away throughout the year to save up for the holiday lull time. If you are always prepared, then you won’t get caught off guard.
Some things you can do to stay ahead of the game is to pay some of your bills ahead of time. Try not to make your renewal fees come up in Dec or Jan. Perhaps December isn’t the time you are affected financially, as it might be January by the time the slow time financially catches up to you. Many bills seem to be due in January, as we all tend to start things in the New Year, but are your finances prepared to have renewals that time of year? A great time to have renewals is Spring and Fall. This is usually a more fruitful time of year for us so it makes more sense to prepare as such. Create a savings account that prepares you for the slow times of the year. If you celebrate Christmas, purchase your gifts through out the year so that it doesn’t all come up at once.
Let’s face it – this is an unpredictable industry. There are some patterns, but they are never 100%, so always prepare for the ‘what ifs’.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the hum bug blues. Prepare so you can enjoy some much deserved time off with family and friends, or just take some time for you. We all deserve that!
Until Next Time Everyone
All my best
VO Chef Deb