Everyone is looking to unwind when the holidays come around. Every year brings its trials, triumphs, and tribulations — and all of them can be exhausting. So as you come upon 2021's end, you can help your team unwind a bit by throwing a holiday party.
But those kinds of events can run your company a lot of cash — and when you're working within the confines of a startup budget, you might not have the room for some extravagant celebration.
That being said, you shouldn't give up on throwing your team the party they've earned just because you don't have the funds for a massive blowout. There are some ways you can throw a holiday party for your team on a startup budget. Here, we'll take a look at some tips and tricks you can leverage to put together a celebration the whole office will appreciate.
How to Throw a Holiday Party for Your Team on a Startup Budget
1. Throw it at the office.
As cool and extravagant as renting out a venue might seem, it generally doesn't suit your average startup budget. Fancy restaurants, hotel ballrooms, or any other offsite location can run you a lot of cash that your business might not be able to throw around right now.
Strict budgets can put you in a bit of a bind when it comes to your holiday party destination — so where can you go? Well, the answer might be pretty close to home. If you have a physical office space, you have a venue you can work with. It might not be the flashiest venue, but it can get the job done well enough.
2. Throw it during work hours.
This point is sort of an extension of the one above. If you're going to throw your party at the office, do your employees a solid, and throw it during work hours. That way, no one has to plan their personal time around the festivities. Also, converting some work time into party time gives your team a nice little respite from their professional obligations.
3. Involve your team in the planning process.
Getting buy-in from your employees is a key component of throwing a successful holiday party. After all, you're throwing it for them — not yourself. If you want your team members to be engaged and invested in your office festivities, try to include at least a few of them in the planning process.
Your employees will have a better pulse on what the rest of the team wants. Ask around to see if anyone is interested in having a stake in planning the party — or conduct a poll to see if there are any specific activities or venues that interest your team.
One way or another, get some meaningful input from your employees. It's their party, so make sure you're doing something they want to do.
4. Try a partial potluck.
If you're throwing a party on a budget, going with a fully catered spread might be outside your budget. On top of that, you run the risk of running up a bill ordering food your team might just see past.
You might be better off providing some snacks and drinks while encouraging the team to bring some home-cooked goods of their own. It can be a fun way to get everyone involved without putting too much strain on the company card.
5. Do a white elephant.
White elephant exchanges provide a fun, engaging, cost-effective way to get the whole office involved in spreading holiday cheer. Set a $20 cap, and let your employees bring in some fun (usually impractical) gifts to pass around. It's an easy way to get your team together for some laid-back fun.
6. Consider hosting it after the holidays.
Let's say you're not interested in hosting your party at the office. If you go that road, you might have a hard time booking a cool, cost-effective venue during the holidays — those places can book up quickly and cost you a pretty penny if you find one.
But those kinds of places are generally less busy in January than they are in December, and booking some space at them after the holidays usually won't run you quite as much. If you want to put together a cool, fun, off-site party for your team, you might be better off waiting the holidays out.
A startup budget doesn't have to kill the fun.
A startup budget doesn't have to spell disaster for your holiday party plans. Financial constraints can be tough when it comes to these kinds of celebrations, but they're not the end of the world. You can easily work within them to put together a holiday party that your team will appreciate and enjoy.