As we approach the end of the year, most businesses are planning to close over Christmas time. Before you know it there will be a list of things to deal with prior to a planned closure. Below are five tips to help you prepare for a Christmas shut down during November and December.
When determining your shutdown period over the holiday season, you must ensure you communicate this to customers correctly. This can be done in a number of ways such as:
- posting a notice on your website or business front
- advising customers in person
- making posts on your social media accounts
- sending out email communication
Doing a combination of these methods reduces the chances of customers not being aware of the shutdown and mishaps occurring.
Employee Annual Leave Plans
Although you have a set shutdown period over the holidays, many employees take additional leave outside of this. It’s important that leave requests are put in early so that you can manage the staffing expectations over December and January. If too many are approved then you won’t have adequate staffing to manage work requirements.
The best course of action for this it to let employees know it is a first come first serve basis. Ensure they know the capacity for leave on either side of the shutdown period and a definitive date to put in requests. As an employer, this puts part of the decision into their hands, and doesn’t leave you making hard choices about what to approve.
Set an Out of Office Email
Establish an automatic reply for any emails that may come through over your shutdown period. That way if clients try to contact you, they will be automatically notified that you are closed and won’t be answering emails, and also what date you will be back. This reduces chances of clients expecting an immediate response while also setting their expectations to when they can expect to hear back. Additionally, you should provide an email or number in an emergency if their query can’t wait until the new year.
Plan for 2023
As a business owner you want to make sure you are also taking a break during a shutdown period. To minimise work done over the holidays, plan for 2023 beforehand in November and December. Set goals and plan your first steps for 2023, which will allow you to head into the new year with a long term focus.
Similarly, you should plan and schedule your social media content prior to shutdown. Again, to allow you to go into 2023 with one less thing to worry about.
Planning ahead of time will not only give you rest time at the end of the year, but make a smoother transition into 2023.