With Christmas just a week away, it’s time to prevent any potential fallout by putting measures in place. Although the end of December might see your business go on hiatus, slowing down doesn’t mean letting go of the reins. In fact, a dose of forward thinking can see Christmas serve as a launch pad for wins in the coming year.
Here are three ways to get ahead before the holiday break.
Keep a close eye on your cash flow
Even if your business slows down over Christmas, the bills will still need to be paid. That’s why troubleshooting cash-flow issues months in advance is essential to ensuring a smooth holiday period.
Whether it’s accounting for supplier invoices and holiday pay or the insurance premiums that can creep up at the end of the year, it’s vital to calculate the expenses you’ll incur during the festive season and make sure your bank balance can handle the pressure.
It’s also essential to check the number of days your business is open during December and understand how this will impact your bottom line.
Finalise your staffing schedule
December can often throw up HR nightmares with staff members honouring family commitments or taking annual leave. However, broaching holiday schedules with your employees in the weeks leading up to Christmas can help you mitigate prospective clashes and risks.
It’s also imperative to decide if you’ll need a skeleton staff, whether you need to bring in temporary office support or if it’s best to close down entirely for a set number of days.
Communicate these decisions as clearly and efficiently as possible to steer clear of mixed messages down the track.
Avoid deadline crunch
Even if you have legal obligations to stop working over Christmas, client demands can sometimes know no bounds. This means the lead-up to the holiday period can be a frantic race towards wrapping up projects, and meeting deadlines and mistakes can be made during this process.
Whether you need to scale up your staffing or renegotiate timelines with clients, it’s important to anticipate issues that stem from managing multiple deadlines at once.
If you take a savvy risk management approach months in advance, you’ll be calmer when the business year is done.
Get ahead now to enjoy the Christmas break. The Christmas break may be a period of renewal, but failing to prepare for it can cause undue stress. However, planning for the holiday well in advance is the best way to benefit from your well-deserved rest.
Phil Sheridan is the senior managing director at Robert Half UK.