How to take a real holiday from your business this Christmas

It’s almost that time of year again where many tradesmen and managers dust off their overalls and put away the boots for a well earned break. Perhaps you’ve set your sights on warmer waters this Christmas, or you’ve simply decided to take a rest closer to home. Either way, there are some simple ways to ensure you have a real holiday from your business this Christmas.

Tradesmen often fear taking time away from their businesses.But planning ahead now can reduce the stress and minimise time spent answering phone calls or emails while you’re away. Being organised and anticipating the systems and skills you need to have in place will make it easier to either shut your business down completely or keep it running smoothly.

  1. Be organised. Plan out your day, minimise travel times between jobs, attempt to foresee issues with material supplies and labour shortages as early as possible. Be sure to pay your bills ahead of time or set up direct debits for when you’re away.
  2. Give yourself some leeway. Don't take on a job that you know you can't complete prior to Christmas. Be honest with your clients. They may not like what they hear but they’ll appreciate your honesty and it’ll save the frustration and stress during the last week before your break.
  3. Don’t stop marketing. Having your branded vehicles off the road will already impact your business, but you don’t want people to forget you entirely. Schedule an email to be sent out to your clients while your away. A thank you email or a virtual Christmas card is a great idea. Include the dates you’ll be returning, as well as the services you’ll be providing in the new year.
  4. Plan around staffing. Utilise skeleton staff and delegate tasks accordingly. If you’ve decided to completely shut down, think about hiring someone like a virtual assistant who can look after your phone and make bookings for you.
  5. Celebrate this time of year with your staff. It’s a busy time but don’t forget to acknowledge the hard work your team have done throughout the year. Allow time for you and your team to celebrate. You may be a tradie or manager but you are also human. Take time to acknowledge 2015 achievements and soak up the festive energy at this time of year.

Taking time away from your business will refresh your focus and give you valuable time with your family and friends. Don’t fall into the trap that many tradesmen do of taking a holiday, by not actually taking a break this year. Being rested and relaxed will set you up for a successful 2016 in business.

With you in every success,

Athol Bailey

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