Every year I like to cover some points about preparing your business for the doors to be closed for an extended amount of time. It is difficult to have your business closed for a few days, a week, or more, but there are some things you can do to make it easier. Many of my friends are already celebrating the Hanukkah season and in a couple of weeks most of the business will be closed for the Christmas season, some for a day, some for the week.
Instead of giving you all the same tips I am going to pull two points from two past articles that you can use and a reminder to look forward to the New Year as well.
Prepare to Be Away.
Know what has to get done even if your doors are closed. From my article “Going to Conferences – What You Need to Remember“, here are some things you may have to look at after before you leave the office to enjoy your family time.
- Change your voicemail message to let people know you will be away and how they can get in touch with you
- Turn on your email autoresponder to let people know when you will be responding
- Prepare your team (VA, assistant, contractors, employees) to take on work while you are gone if needed
- Pre-write your social media, newsletter, or other content and schedule it to go out at specific times
- Call your bank to let them know your credit cards and bank cards will be used in a different location if you are planning on traveling during the holidays.
Decide what days you will be available for clients and what you are willing to do on those days. Like I mentioned last year, my local spa is open for pampering, but on a much reduced time and increased staff level. It is OK to set a reduced timetable as long as you make sure your clients are fully aware of what that might be. Put it on your answering machine, on your door, in your email signature, and maybe even on your business cards.
Get the other tips from last year’s article “Are You Ready to Close Your Doors for the Holidays?“.
Define the timeline
When preparing for the New Year you need to have clear intentions of what you want to do and they need to be time-bound, meaning you need to set a date on which you can be held accountable for it being complete. Want a happier, more prosperous 2013? Check out my tips on “3 Tips to Setting Intentions You Will Meet” from 2011.
BONUS – Know Your Process
Know your yearly routine and create a process so you are not guessing each year. If something did not work or your got negative feedback form your customers, change it so you are not guessing what would work best 365 days later. Always provide your best service, a consistent client experience, and make an effort to improve every chance you can.