With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it timely to discuss things you might need to consider in the lead up to and during the holiday season.
Tell Your Clients When Your Office / Support Hours Are
Let your clients / customers know if your business is open or closed for the holiday period and if open, if availability is reduced.
Get your initial advice out early and remind your contacts fairly regularly leading up to the holidays.
Oh yes! Tell them when the last day to order for guaranteed before Christmas delivery is.
And remember, someone will simply just not see all the reminders.
Plan Your Marketing Campaigns Now
Sure, it's only November but before you know it, December 1st will be bashing on our doors and you want to be ready. So get yourselves ready and have your marketing ready to roll out as the festive season approaches.
Manage Your Workload
Particularly if you're in a service business, schedule your work to try and avoid deadlines to meet during your downtime or immediately on your return.
It's a good idea to try to have projects wrapped up a week or so before you leave, so that you can address any lingering questions / issues. It also helps you cater for any project delays that may run into your departure time.
Make Sure You Have Enough Stock On Hand
If you have a business that provides physical items to your customers, make sure you have enough stock on hand to meet the expected demand.
Stock Management is tricky thing because you don't want to have too much sitting on shelves after the holiday period, but you definitely need enough on hand to fulfill the holiday demand.
It's a good idea to check with your suppliers about Sell or Return policies too. This can be a great way to address stock management.
Set Up An Out Of Office Message For Your Email
You might be on holidays. Your business not be operating during that time. The rest of the world isn't though, so make sure you have your voice mail and email set up.
There's a proviso that I'm adding to the email autoresponder: Make sure that your out of office message doesn't get broadcast to the lists / groups that you're part of.
Ensure Your Support Team Know What To Do
By Support Team, I don't just mean your tech support. Do your admin people know how to respond to requests if you're taking time out of the office? Do they have processes and procedures to follow for the more common questions that get raised?
Do you have a system to capture the messages / request that come in so that you're not overwhelmed after the celebrations?
Divert Your Phones to Voice Mail or An Answering Service
Make sure that your phone is diverted to a message service and your message lets people know when you'll be around.
You might also consider using a virtual admin service or hiring a VA who can take calls during the period.
The holiday season and the lead up to it can definitely be crazy and stressful but it's important to remember to have some fun with it all.
Do you have anything to add these suggestions? Why not join us over on Locals and get involved in the conversation?