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Wrap up the business year right

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It’s the end of the year, and while some businesses are slowing down, for others it’s their busiest time of the year. But regardless of what industry you’re in, it’s still the perfect time to start thinking about next year. The end of the year is the time to wrap up loose ends and get ready for the brand new year. However, it can be hard to reduce the ever-growing task list, keep your team motivated, and ensure that you communicate effectively with your customers and clients, all while planning for the extended break.

With the holiday period just around the corner, it’s important to manage your client’s expectations and notify them as soon as possible of your plans and closure periods. To help you through the next few weeks, our iiNet Business team have a couple of tricks up their sleeve that they’ve packaged up ready for you to give a go in the lead up to Christmas.

Rollout the shutdown period notifications

Ensuring you’re set up correctly before you shut up shop ensures that your customers are kept up to date while preventing the loss of prospects. When it comes to closing down for Christmas, once you’ve contacted your customers about your closure period, be sure to add an automatic reply to your emails and ensure all phones have been redirected or have a message added.

Communication is the key. A quick email to your contacts with the key information for the break is a great way to remind your customers that you won’t be able to respond for a set period of time and any contacts they can reach out to during this time. There are some easy to use email platforms where you can build your own email or websites that provide you with easy-to-use Christmas card templates that you can email out. While we’re on the topic of emails, don’t forget to set all contact emails to deliver an Out of Office notice so that people are aware that you’ll be in contact as soon as you return from your well-deserved break.

For those with mobiles and desktop phones, update your voicemail just in case people try to call. If you have iiNet’s BizPhone, there’s no need to be tied to the office to make these changes, you can simply update your voicemail and notifications online. This is great if you forget to update the voicemail when you’re already out the door and halfway to your holiday destination! Here are other things you can arrange easily online in preparation for the break:

  • Turn on or off your call forward settings. Leaving the office and the team are on holidays? No worries, just direct the phones to your mobile or straight to voicemail, while you’re on the move.
  • Set up customised schedules for business or after hours, or while the team are away over the Christmas holidays.
  • Update your voicemail message by uploading a new audio recording to the portal.
  • Change the email address for your voicemail to email, or even CC in other people.

Back up those files

Before you head off, don’t forget to sort through your computer files, and back up your data. Be sure to take these files to a safe offsite location just in case. Check out our article Be prepared and back it up!, for some tips we’ve put together on backing up your files.

Update Your Website and Social Media Profiles

When it comes to the busiest time of the year, time flies by and it can be easy to forget your online presence. Nowadays, it’s extremely common to hop online and run a quick search when looking for a product or service, so it’s important to keep an active online profile so you can maintain engagement with your customers and potential customers. With businesses moving online and adopting social media, it’s important to invest the time to give your brand a strong online presence so you don’t get left behind.

During this time of year, keep things simple. When December starts, be sure to dedicate some time to updating your customers on your planned holiday breaks and any other important information as well as engaging with them and sharing the festive spirit. If you have a product or service that will make a great gift, what better time to remind them and why they should gift your product or service as a present this Christmas? While you’re at it, you may also like to spend some time touching up or refreshing your online presence, and designing a plan for keeping your platforms up-to-date and unique in the year to come. This could include new content for the coming year or a change in profile images and layout.

Review your goals

This time of year can be so busy that we get drawn into the day-to-day operations but don’t lose sight of your big goals! It’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on what you achieved over the last 12 months and if these successes set you up for long-term goals and organisational vision. Have a look yourself then grab the team and see how they think business in 2019 went. If you did meet the goals you set last year, highlight the results. If you didn’t succeed in some areas, come up with some strategies to amend this in the coming year. While you’re at it, why not set your goals for 2020 as well!

Say Thank You

With another year done and dusted it’s a great time to reflect on the happenings of 2019, your biggest achievements, and thank those that make your business possible.

This simple task can do a world of good for employee morale and will leave the team ending the year on a positive and ready for a fresh and exciting new year. In fact, it’s been shown that recognition and appreciation is one thing that motivates employees the most and inspires them to work hard. Employees set the workplace culture and global studies show that employee recognition leads to highly engaged staff who are innovative and work hard to grow the business while also inspiring employee retention and loyalty.

Take a few minutes to write or say something to your staff that lets them know how much you appreciate their work. If you can, use examples of specific tasks that have made an impact on the organisation and showed their skill set. If you’re thinking of giving gifts, think outside the box and try to gift something that shows you know your staff and their interests.

Now let’s talk customers and clients, the people who use your services and keep your business alive. Show them you appreciate them too. If you have a personal relationship with your clients, a hand written card or personalised email is a nice way to personally thank them. If you have a large customer base, thank them online and on your social platforms with a message and maybe even a discount code to use.

Set some time aside for you

Being a business owner is hard work. A recent study showed that 49% of small business owners said this holiday period they will only have public holidays off and 57% are working through. While it is a busy time of the year, don’t forget to take time out for you because being refreshed and ready to tackle the New Year is important too.

Are you getting ready for the end of year wrap up? What do you make sure to always do before going on holidays for your business?

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