Don’t shoot the messenger but in case you haven’t realised, Christmas is coming! And fast!
The lead-up to Christmas can often seem like a blur between all the parties and gatherings, shopping, and the excitement (or relief) of having some time off. Regardless, if you are sliding into Christmas or still ramping up, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure your business is ready.
If you are shutting down over the Christmas period for a well-deserved break, you must provide your staff with notice. If an award covers them, you’ll need to check that for the amount of notice you need to provide and any other stipulations.
Now is also a great time to review your staff leave balances. If they don’t have enough hours accrued, they may need to take either leave without pay. Alternatively, you may be kind enough to let them go a few hours into the negative. I recommend that you consider this on a case-by-case basis with their employment contract (and award) in mind.
You also need to make sure you communicate your closure with your customers. Set a reminder now to make sure you activate your out of office on emails and adjust your phone recording message.
You may also wish to consider (depending on your business/industry) providing your customers with a referral point if they run into issues over your closure. It might seem counterintuitive to refer a customer to someone who is normally a competitor, but it does provide your customer with first-rate service. Also, reach out to the person you will be referring. Maybe you can arrange a commission or referral fee? Or come up with an alternative arrangement that suits you both. Remember they may be in your position soon.
If your business has a reliance on certain suppliers, you may also need to consider when they are shutting down. Many suppliers (particularly trade suppliers) often have an extended break over Christmas and into the new year. While that is great for them, you need to ensure you have sufficient supplies to see you through this time.
Work in Progress
Now is the time to review your work in progress list to see what jobs you can complete and invoice prior to Christmas. The earlier you can invoice the better chance you will receive payment.
Work in January
It is still only November and I am already spruiking organising work for January now! January usually seems to be a bit of a slow start (at least until Australia Day/school returns) so doing the hard yards now ensures you have work. We also recommend taking a deposit (if you are able to) for January work so you run the risk of jobs being pushed as a result of holiday budgets being stretched.
Firming up that job list early, also means you can make sure you have the supplies to carry out the work and avoid delays.
If you have any questions about staff leave or even about getting your business Christmas ready, book a discovery call today.