How to Prepare your Business for the Holiday Season Shut Down

We’ve been reflecting on the past year at Virtual Elves and part of that was looking back on our most popular and ‘clicked through’ articles for 2016. We were not so surprised to find that you all found our articles on productivity to be some of the most informative and popular pieces of content!

Being productive in your business can mean many things to many people. For some it might be planning their day in a way that maximises output. For others it might mean automating as many processes as they can. Either way, great productivity practices are highly sought after!

The holiday season is a particular instance when you might have a lot of different demands on your time, both professionally and personally. Before you know it, you’re halfway through December and the Christmas shut-down period is just around the corner. Christmas break is a great time for you to relax and take a breather from work. But in order to really switch off from your business it pays to do a little forward planning first.

Here are a few productivity tips on how to prepare your business for the holiday season shut down and avoid a 2017 headache!

1. Follow up Invoice Payments

Lots of businesses find themselves tight with cash-flow in the New Year so it pays to be on top of your accounts and follow up any payments ahead of holiday shutdown.

2. Make Sure Staff & Contractors are Paid

If you require staff to be working for you over the holiday period, make sure you’re on top of the correct holiday pay rates. And schedule payments for contractors and expenses to go out on time through your financial institution.

3. Send a final Christmas newsletter

Ensure that you send off a final Christmas newsletter to your mailing list. This is a great way to recap and celebrate 2016. You can also use this opportunity let your clients and colleagues know about your Christmas operating hours and any other vital information.

4. Schedule Content

Just because you’re taking a well-earned break doesn’t mean your marketing efforts have to languish till 2017. You can schedule articles for your site and content for your social media to post while you’re on holiday. This will keep your reach from dropping whilst maintaining online visibility.

5. Set an Out of Office Email

When you set-up your automatic reply this year make sure to personalise it. Your standard run of the mill out of office email responses are so lacklustre and tiresome. Add some personality and make sure to include important information like when you’ll be commencing in 2017 and who to contact in an emergency.

6. Record a New Voicemail

This task can often be overlooked when you’re closing up shop for the year. Make sure to record a new voicemail with specific information about your shut down dates and emergency contact information.

7. Plan for 2017

Finally, it’s a good idea to do a little prep for the New Year before you return to work. By setting goals and planning your first steps out of the block in 2017 you’ll head into the New Year with more focus and purpose.

The team at Virtual Elves would love to wish all of our clients and colleagues a safe, fun and fruitful Christmas. We hope you all get to spend some valuable time with family and friends and we look forward to welcoming you all back in 2017.



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