Summer is coming, the Jacaranda is in bloom and the beach beckons – but if you’re shutting up shop for the Christmas holidays, make sure your business is also ready to take a break.
This checklist is a good place to start.
- Check your insurance is up to date so it’s valid over the holidays.
- Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if necessary.
- Let your landlord or property manager know when you'll be away.
- Turn off heating, lighting, appliances and computer equipment.
- Clean out perishable food from the fridge.
- Give indoor plants an extra good watering (or take them home if you've got green thumbs).
- Put the rubbish out.
- Notify businesses that regularly deliver to you of your closedown dates, eg the water cooler company and the sanitation equipment company.
- Put a hold on any newspaper deliveries.
- Notify the office cleaner of closure dates, and consider organising a thorough clean while the premises are empty.
- Order supplies needed in January in time, and ensure delivery isn't during your closedown.
Finances, leave and pay
- Make sure you have enough funds in your business account to cover automatic payments for salaries and other regular bills.
- Ensure all your tax requirements (GST, PAYG and other employer deductions) are in order if they have to be filed during your holiday.
- Calculate holiday pay ahead of time.
- Give employees 14 days’ notice if you have an annual closedown, eg the office or workshop closes over Christmas and no one is to work.
- Clarify with staff what their leave breakdown is – what’s compulsory leave and when they’re due back at work.
Clients and suppliers
- Tell clients when you'll be closing and reopening – post this on your website, in out-of-office replies, on your answerphone, and if appropriate on the front door of your business premises.
- Pay your suppliers’ invoices.
- Send out your own invoices.
- Share emergency contact details with staff and clients who might need them
It might seem like a lot to do, so delegate as many of the tasks to other staff as early as possible. That way Christmas holidays will be enjoyable & you can return to work in the New Year without any work headaches.