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“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la!”

By the sounds of it, the Christmas season is here, well if the carols played on repeat at the local shops and on the radio are anything to go by, so this means season celebrations; family, friends visiting from all over, or perhaps trips away from home to experience the holidays away, but what does this mean for your business?

In this week’s post we share some tips to make sure your organisation has a Merry Christmas!

Prioritise Work

Be aware of all the deadlines that you have been set and make sure all client work is completed within these time frames. This way you will be able to start the New Year fresh, rather than facing angry clients who feel that they have been neglected during the busy holiday season.

Join in the festivities

Keep employees engaged with a festive environment in your business. You would be surprised how far some Christmas decorations can go. Perk up the office with traditions that align with your organisations culture – for example, you can create opportunities for bonding among your team by having a secret Santa and/or throw an office party. Make sure you think about the costs that many come about this Christmas season such as Christmas parties and gifts for staff. Account for holiday pay requirements and leave for employee scheduling.

Plan ahead

Some organisations close their offices for a short period over the holidays. Before this happens, ensure the security of your physical location (lock all doors and windows) and minimise the amount of cash and/or any stock held in your business premises on days where it will be unattended. Furthermore, backup any important information in case of any data problems when you return. Every festive period brings similar problems both in terms of IT and personnel issues. One major risk that can affect any business is power failure, the effects of which can be felt long after electricity supply has been restored, so be sure to plan around such eventualities. Tidy up before everyone leaves; it’s always good to start the New Year with a clean, organised office.

Maintain an ‘Available’ Presence

Let your clients know the dates you are closing so they are not in any doubt. You can let them know in the footers of emails, on the website, by mail or email. Provide them with a number or email they can use for emergencies. If you suspect your clients are going to need you over the proposed break you may have to consider some of the following options to maintain a high standard of customer service (and to prevent having to rebuild relationships in the New Year):

  • Bringing in temporary staff or outsourcing the answering of phones to a call centre
  • Having a team on call for emergency work
  • Make sure emails, landline messages and mobile messages are being checked regularly over the break and are responded too if they are urgent.

Gratitude

Another great idea is to send Christmas cards to the people who have contributed to your business this year. People such as staff, clients and suppliers really appreciate a small gift or card that says ‘thanks for the support’. Not only does this convey your appreciation and thanks, but also builds stronger customer relations for the following year.

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