How to holiday proof your business
As a small business owner, the twinkly, festive approach to the holiday season can actually be quite stressful! Your staff are submitting holiday requests, and you want to make sure your team gets their holiday entitlement, so they recharge with their loved ones in that much needed break. But that means you’ll be running on a skeleton staff at best.
Here’s our guide to holiday proofing your business, to keep things running smoothly while your staff are on annual leave.
(And if you want a little break from your business, we can help there too! See “How to take a holiday as a small business owner”)
Manage holiday requests – early
Make sure your team knows the process for applying for their holiday entitlement, they submit requests as early as possible and everyone is aware of any rules e.g. No two people from the same team off at the same time, a maximum number of people off at any one time etc.
Outsourcing / Upsourcing
If holiday periods are traditionally busy for your business, it’s wise to bring on some extra help in the form of a Virtual Assistant (or increase your VA’s hours if you’re already working with one). You might outsource to a VA for a certain role, or specific tasks, but it’s always good to have a contingency plan in case someone calls in sick, or there’s a client issue. Make sure your extra help is briefed and is ready to lend a hand in an emergency. And they know your definition of emergency!
Can you look at what happened last year and prepare according to past experience? Make contingency plans so everyone knows what to do in the event of certain scenarios. Are there any team members that will be quieter over the holiday season who can be trained to pick up some of the slack? Are there any parts of the business that will be busier and need constant cover?
If you’re bringing in extra help from a Virtual Assistant, or are redeploying some team members, make sure there’s ample time to onboard them, and do a thorough training and handover.
Automate where you can
The more you can prepare for in advance and automate while your team is still on hand the better! Make sure any systems and automations are set up and fully tested before everyone disappears on holiday so you and the remaining team can rest easy knowing these tasks are sorted.
Let your clients know
Make sure your clients know who to speak to if their usual contact is away over the holiday, and that your staff will be taking a well earned break so processes etc might not run as they do for the rest of the year. As well as wishing them a Merry Christmas, of course!
If you’d like to encourage your staff in taking their annual holiday entitlement, and need some extra support while they take a break, contact Caroline.