As the end of the year approaches, along with the holiday season shut-down for a lot of the trades, you may be rushing to finalise projects, squeeze in some last-minute jobs, and plan your holiday getaway. The lead-up to Christmas is often a time of frenetic activity and you may arrive at the holidays feeling worn out and empty, yet unable to relax.
In this post we look at some ways for you to take stock not only of your business, but of your life, to set you up for a peaceful, enjoyable holiday and a prosperous 2020 full of the things that matter to you.
Finalise your accounts
For a peaceful start to the holidays, make sure all your finances are in order. Pay any suppliers you have outstanding invoices with, and send reminders to anyone who hasn’t paid your invoices. Using a job management system such as AroFlo and running an Outstanding Invoices report to quickly identify which clients you may need to follow-up with will speed things up.
Balancing your books at the end of the year not only gives you peace of mind, but puts you in a good position for analysing how successful the year has been, and for setting next year’s financial goals. If you do your financial planning from financial year to financial year, an end-of-calendar-year review can serve as a good progress check.
Check in with your clients
Take the opportunity to contact your regular clients to thank them for their support throughout the year and wish them well for the holidays. Let them know what dates you’ll be on leave for. If you’re planning to offer an on-call service during the break, let them know how they can get in touch during that time, and explain any additional costs that might apply.
A call to your clients is a good way to maintain rapport with them and to ask them for feedback on how you did during the year. It can be hard for people to find the time to complete feedback forms, but a quick call can provide you with helpful information on how you could build on your success in the new year.
Check in with your suppliers
Some of your suppliers may also close over the holiday period, so if you do plan to offer on-call services during the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you have all the supplies you need. The end of the year may also be a good time to renegotiate your rates with your regular suppliers.
Keep an eye out for end-of-year offers on items you buy regularly.
Perform a security tune-up
During normal operations, it’s important to understand material theft, but during a period of closure, you’ll want to make sure you have additional security measures in place to protect any plant and equipment you’ll be locking inside your premises while you’re away. In addition to the obvious locks, security cameras and alarm systems, it can be worth engaging a security firm to perform regular site checks during your absence. Make sure your insurance is up to date, in case the worst should happen. That way, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’ve done all you can to protect your property.
Thank your staff
If you’ve had a good year, it’s likely been in good part due to the support of your staff. Celebrate the year’s successes and thank your staff for their efforts. Depending on the size of your outfit, you may throw a Christmas break-up party for the whole company, or allocate funds for each team to go out for their own celebration.
Protect your spare time
November and December can quickly fill up with pre-Christmas parties, family activities, Christmas shopping, and a host of other last-minute holiday preparations. These engagements can take over the time you’d normally be spending unwinding, so that before you know it, you’re feeling busy and harried, even on weekends.
With all the media focus on mental health, it’s becoming more acceptable to limit your pre-Christmas availability to protect the time you’d normally spend re-charging. If you’re invited to an event, pause before accepting and ask yourself if you really want to go, or if you just feel obligated to go. There’ll be some things you can’t decline, but there’ll be others where you could simply thank the person for the invitation, explain that you won’t be able to make it, and wish them the season’s greetings.
Take time to reflect
As you prepare your business for the holiday closure, it’s a good time to think about your personal goals and whether or not you achieved them or at least moved closer to them during the year.
Many people go into business to give themselves the freedom to go after their goals in their own way. But it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of running a business and end up forgetting why you started it in the first place. If you find yourself too busy to spend time on the things that matter to you and that fill your soul – whether that’s family, friends, travel, sport, creativity, or just sitting and reading – it may be time to look into how you could be doing things differently.
Let AroFlo help
At AroFlo, we’re all about freeing up tradespeople to live life to the full. That’s why we started, and that remains our motivation today. As a tradesman himself, our founder and CEO, Guy Arrowsmith, is uniquely positioned to develop software that lifts the administrative burden from a busy trades business so that staff and owners can spend their time on the things that matter most.
Get in touch today to see how AroFlo’s job management system could help you get your time back and move you closer to your business and personal goals.
Author – Heather King
Technical Content Writer