Small business holiday shut down checklist

10.12.2019

Small Business Christmas Holiday Shutdown checklists and 5 businesses you need to have on board before the holidays

It Christmas time and the weather is warming up here in Australia. Traditionally many businesses shut down for a minimum of at least two weeks. Here’s the ultimate Christmas holiday checklist for small business before walking out the door prior to your break.

At Goop Digital we consider the single most important thing you can do is to adjust your trading hours on your Google My Business listing. We need to keep the Google God’s happy. As a digital marketing agency we are biased 🙂

Outside of this though, there is a lot you can do (have to do) before taking that well-earned break. We have broken this down into three core categories.

1.       Physical

2.       IT

3.       Marketing

Physical

The things to do around your building are fairly self-explanatory but it’s always good to go over your checklist. Be it a retail store, a factory shed, a trade shed or an office. Check the list and use what is relevant to you.

  • Suspend or pause newspaper deliveries (Does anyone actually get a physical copy these days)
  • Adjust your answering machine if possible
  • Ensure your insurance is up to date
  • Water plants
  • Clear out the fridge (often overlooked)
  • Put the rubbish out in the bins (outside)
  • Turn of the Air Conditioning
  • Don’t leave keys out
  • Turn on the alarm (if you don’t have a monitored security alarm system, go and get it)
  • Lock all windows, doors and gates where applicable. Please ensure your doors are secure enough. Some simple locks are not enough.

IT

IT is often overlooked, it’s not a long list but an important one none the less.

  • Make sure you have backed up your relevant files (this can be finance, server files and or your CRM). If you don’t have an external IT business looking after your files go and organise this before Christmas. Your digital files aren’t important until they’re gone
  • Set your email out of office (autoresponders) for all staff
  • Turn off electrical devices (Its summer so power outages and subsequent power surges have the potential to do serious damage to electrical goods, particularly computers)

Marketing

  • Christmas shutdown provides a great opportunity to not only reach out to your client base and wish them a safe and prosperous new year but also to keep them updated on your closing times.
    If you can adjust your fixed phone line message do so. “Wishing you a merry Christmas ….. we will reopen on the xx of January”
  • Adjust messages on all work mobile phones with a similar message to the fixed landline
  • Update Google My Business listing for special hours over the Christmas break (see video below)
  • Send out an E Newsletter to all of your clients wishing them a safe holiday and again advising of your shut down times and an emergency alternate contact number/email or digital messaging platform.
  •  Provide an alternative emergency contact. This may be a mobile number, or a Facebook account or other digital formats.  (At Goop Digital we monitor Facebook and request that people touch base via Facebook messenger with any urgent issues)

If you are serious about your business you need to have the following 5 items covered. Whilst “She’ll be right mate” has probably got you through till now if you want to have a real business you need to outsource the following to professionals and the Christmas shutdown list should be a reminder to get professionals on board to assist you

1. Insurance Brokers

Insurance brokers work for you and not the insurance companies. If you have ever need to make an insurance claim only then can you truly appreciate the value of an insurance broker. For IT failures, theft and or incidental damage such as weather, it is summer here and who knows and check your fire status particularly if you are in a bush fire prone area

2. Security monitoring

This is a no brainer. Get monitored security. Once your alarms are set up and you initiate 24 hour monitoring you can truly rest easy enjoying your holiday. It is more cost effective than most people realise and there are a number of invaluable ad on services security firms can offer. Not to mention the deterrence factor to would be burglars simply by having security installed and the stickers placed on the windows.

3. Locksmiths

Good Locks. It may be a good time to get that locksmith in to make sure your locks are secure for when you are away.

4.  IT

Regardless of how good your IT skills are, as your business grows you need to ensure your IT systems grow with it. Emails, backups and even VoIP systems. If something goes wrong when you are away, flood, fire, burglary etc. you need to have good backups.

5. Digital marketer

If you are struggling with E Newsletters or updating your Google My Business listing call your digital marketing agency now. If you don’t have one feel free to call us now.

Following the above advice will ensure peace of mind and a good break. Stay safe and enjoy the festive season.