Do you remember the good old days when your local shop put up a sign saying ‘closed for the holidays’?
Today, we are under pressure to be ON and connected all the time. Technology makes it possible to run our business from anywhere. So, very few of us close for the holidays, particularly if our business is online.
But the storekeepers of the good old days have some lessons to teach us. There are some real benefits to putting up a virtual ‘closed for the holidays’ sign!
I am going to share with you the benefits of your business closing for holidays, what you need to do to make this happen and what to do is you just can’t close for a proper break.
1. Why ‘closing for holiday’ is important
It is so crucial to every now and then, pause our business so that we can come back refreshed and energized. When you have had even a small break, it is then possible to put your full focus back on your business and really push things forward.
By never taking a proper break, you are also contributing to our driven, fast paced society – and you need to ask yourself if that is the sort of culture you want for your business.
It is also important that your team needs a break too – in order to keep your team motivated and committed, they need to rest sometimes too. Giving everyone a break from your business can also boost creativity when your team gets back to work.
Finally, putting up a virtual ‘closed for holidays’ sign can actually help you connect with your audience, particularly if you follow my recommendations for how you communicate your decision.
2. Ready to take a break – here’s how to do it
It is so important to prepare and plan for a business holiday if you want to avoid frustrated and unhappy clients. Here are my tips for making sure that the whole experience is positive for you and your customers.
- Put it in your calendar: be intentional about setting time aside for your ‘business holidays’, decide in advance what days and in what months you want to close.
- Prepare for what happens after the holiday: if you don’t do this, you will likely be overwhelmed by what you need to do when get back to work! Look ahead and think about what you will need to have in place to not lose the benefit of your break. For example, you can batch produce your content in advance and have it ready to go once you are back at your desk. This is something I do with the Tandem Nomads podcast so January’s episodes are already done!
- Communicate with your clients and your audience: to avoid frustration for everyone, make sure you let everyone know in advance when you will be closed. Give people dates they can put in their calendars so that they know when you will be back. And if you need to extend your break, be sure to let people know that as far in advance as you can.
3. What to do if you can’t take a business holiday
For some small entrepreneurs, closing completely for holidays just isn’t possible, particularly if you are depending on that money to live. Here are some tips for what you can do to create some space for you to rest and recharge!
- Take a shorter break: if you can’t take a long holiday, try to take a day or an intentional weekend where you really do no connect with clients or your business. Think about a shorter time frame that you can give yourself and your business to slow down.
- ‘Going slow’ notice: this can help you take the day to day pressure off and give you space to rest. Set up an automated email to your clients letting them know that you for a period of time you will only be responding to emails, for example, every 72 hours or whatever expectations you want them to have.
- Office hours: this is not just a good idea for a period where you want to rest but throughout the year. Set office hours when your team know that you are in front of your email or by your phone to discuss your business and that outside this time, they should not expect an immediate response.
- Batch in advance: you can batch content that is repetitive. Look at your tasks, for example writing blog posts, and then block one week where you write four blog posts so that you don’t have to worry about them again for the rest of the month.
- Automate: as much as possible use technology to work for you. For example, automate your social media so that you can have a break.
- Delegate: think about who you could delegate to so that you can take your holidays. Maybe there is someone who could be the guest host of your social media groups, posting or responding to comments while you are away.
So, allow yourself to take a business holiday so you can come back to your business refreshed, re-energized and ready to take your business forward to even greater success.