We’re in the thick of the holiday season now and small business owners everywhere are doing their best to make sure both their shoppers and their own families are happy. To help you manage this balance, this week’s Trending on Thursday has a step-by-step holiday survival guide. We also provide tips for leveraging mobile this season, detail the state of social media marketing and more.

See this week’s #smallbiz roundup below and tweet us at @MarlinBusiness with your own holiday survival tips.

  1. trendingdec81Shutting off during the holidays can be much more difficult when you’re a small business owner or freelancer. Not only is your work wherever you are; there’s also the fear that if you do try to scale back on work over the holidays, your clients or customers could go elsewhere. On the flip side, we all know how important it is to take a break and recharge. Fast Company’s Michael Grothaus has put together a holiday survival guide to help small business owners manage the annual struggle between work and personal life.
  1. Beyond survival, how can you make the most out of the holidays for your small business this year? For one, hopefully you’re getting in on the e-commerce wave that’s generating increasing retail sales year-over-year. Because although the holidays can be a trying time for any company, this Small Business Trends article says that many of these issues can be eliminated by adapting your e-commerce platform to the mobile-centric nature of today’s online shoppers.
  1. trendingdec82The average American spends 37 minutes per day on social media. That amounts to almost a week and a half over the course of a year. That alone is enough reason for any business to jump on the social media marketing train. However, for those living the busy life of a small business owner, dedicating the time and resources necessary to successfully advertise your business on social media can be costly. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid social media marketing all together. This Business 2 Community article by Lukas Hardonk lays out the four reasons why social media marketing is worth the time at your small business.
  1. It’s a question as old as time for startups: How can a small business, often limited on funds and flashy incentives that larger corporations offer, retain talented employees? From providing a manageable, enjoyable workload to encouraging honest communication, Business.com’s Deborah Sweeney has revealed the secrets to investing in talent that will help your small business keep the best employees around.
  1. In between getting a Presidential Medal of Freedom and developing an odor-blocking perfume, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates put out his list of favorite books of 2016, just in time for the holiday season. The list isn’t dominated by any one genre and ranges from an expansive work of scientific research to a short selection of essays. Check out the video to see Gates explain why he’s a fan of these particular titles and read this Entrepreneur article by Nina Zipkin for the full list.