With the end of the year in sight, you'd think the pressure would be off and it would be time to wind down. But that's not necessarily the case. For many small businesses, December can be a time of heightened productivity and output, with more to do than ever before and an ever growing mountain of administrative and financial work that must be done before staff and managers go on their Christmas break. It's difficult to be able to take any time away if you know that you're leaving your business without every i dotted and every loose end tied up prior to the break. Here's a few tips to keep in mind as you head into the holidays.
It's vital to ensure your records are in order
The last thing you want to come back to after the break is a mess of records and files with no sense of order. That kind of chaos could lose your business even more time when your staff are getting up to speed with it. If you have some systems and processes in place already, it's a good idea to check that everything is running smoothly and that all records are where they should be. You'll be well into the financial year now, and if you let issues go unchecked, they'll snowball. Use the end of the regular year as a pit stop to check in on how your systems are going.
Make sure you have workflows prepared for when work resumes
When your staff do return, you want to have plans ready and in place for January so that you aren't wasting precious weeks re-adjusting and finding new goals. It's a good idea to meet with your staff before they break and go over the direction of your business for January as well as taking a moment to check where current projects are sitting and how they are going to be put on hold during the break. If there are sensitive projects that cannot be delayed until the new year, do you or your staff have a workflow or a plan ready to tackle that problem now?
Communicate clearly with your clients
Do your clients and customers know what dates you will be out for Christmas? That can be important to share, as they may need to adjust their own projects, expectations or diaries to match with your own. It's normally a good plan to send out a message detailing those key shut down dates, highlighting any emergency procedures and taking a moment to wish your customers seasons greetings. It could even be an opportunity to engage in some marketing messaging, offering any final pieces of content or special offers or announcements before the break.
Overall, the important part is to stay focused in the lead up to the break, and make sure that you and your staff haven't checked out early for the holidays as soon as it hits December 1. The Christmas break is important, but it's also important to make sure that nobody drops the ball!