Trick or treat. Merry Christmas. Be thankful. Happy Hannukah.

It’s that time of year. The holidays are sweeping in with a vengeance. When it comes to friends and family, you might have an action plan, but do you have a plan for your business?

Whether you sell stuff that people would put under the tree, or are marketing to other businesses, you need a plan.

We've got a step-by-step holiday planning guide for you and your small business:

Step 1: Get Inspired

As a business, you want to at least recognize the holidays. You don't need ten years to come up with the greatest idea ever. Instead, get inspired by what others have done in the past.

For example, many brands have developed cheery, seasonal Pinterest boards, while others have come up with branded videos. In 2013, Netflix created a fake trailer for a 'fireplace in your home.' It was hilarious-- and the campaign went viral.

If you aren't sure how to approach the holidays, take a look around. There's holiday cheer in store windows, in magazines, and all over the web. You don't have to go all out. Simplicity is effective.

Here are a couple of my favorite holiday campaigns and resources:

Step 2: Consider Your Goals and Decide on Holidays

Why host a party on Small Business Saturday or send out Thank You cards on Thanksgiving? Whatever you do this holiday season, have goals in mind. The holidays are all about giving, so these goals don’t have to be about sales (but of course they can be).

Here are some common goals small businesses have during the holidays:

To reach your goals, think carefully about which holidays you are going to celebrate. Here’s a handy checklist of this season’s holidays to help you along:

Step 3: Decide What You’ll Do for Each Holiday

Now that you've selected which holidays you're going to recognize and gotten some inspiration, you have to decide how you'll approach them. If you want to increase sales, then you'll use different tactics than if you want to give back to loyal customers.

Here are some tried-and-true ideas:

A reminder: it's important to be sensitive during the holidays. Keep in mind that your customers may celebrate different holidays than you. It's also a difficult time of year for many that are far from their families and friends.

Step 4: Prepare The Troops & Delegate

Holidays are all about bringing people together, so make sure you have everyone you need on board. Before you start working away, consider how you can get other businesses involved. Reach out to your employees to gauge interest.

Don't just ask people what they think-- be ready to delegate. Assign tasks quickly and efficiently to move your holiday planning along. The holidays are a time of panic, so make sure you've prepared your employees. If you expect a huge change in sales, an onslaught of reviews, or a spike in customer service calls, then make sure your team is ready.

Above all, coordinate. Use a project management tool (like Basecamp or Trello) or use a shared calendar to make sure your team and your partners are on the same page.

Step 5: Plan How You’ll Promote

It's great that you have a plan and are ready to act on it, but make sure you include plans for promotion. How will you let people know you're having a huge holiday sale or hosting a block party on Small Business Saturday?

Here are some promotion avenues to consider:

Note: Not all holiday initiatives require careful promotion. If you're sending out holiday gift cards or volunteering, you may not need to promote your activities.

Step 6: EXECUTE, Then Step Back and Analyze

Thinking about the holidays is great, but nothing happens if you don't act, so get going! Execute on whatever you've planned, then step back and analyze to see if your goals were met. Were your sales as high as you'd projected? Did the team work together? Did you plan promotion right?

Your Turn: What does your business do for the holidays? Do you do any special promotions or events to celebrate?