The holiday season can be a busy time huge for sales and customer service. However, time with your family and friends is just as valuable.
So, how do you step away from your business and at the same time make sure your business does not miss opportunities and fulfilling customer needs?
Here are 7 tips to enjoy the holiday season:
- Notify key people of your holiday plans – A month before going on vacation alert your staff of your holiday schedule in advance. This will give them the opportunity to complete projects that need your input before you leave for vacation. They can also help you identify gaps in personnel that need to be filled during the holiday season, including customer service, phone answering, and order taking.
- Connect remotely – It may be impossible to completely unplug from your business. Notify your IT department to setup remote access for you. Invest in secure technology to enable you to address urgent matters when they pop at any time. Check in advance to make sure your destination has good internet coverage. Plan ahead on when you will allow yourself to check on your business, and when you will stay off the computer and phone.
- Establish clear authority – Choose an appropriate second-in-command and give him/her the authority to run the business. Inform the customers who are used to reaching you directly know that your second-in-command is competent and effective to handle their concerns. You may even introduce him/her to your customers now, while you are still available.
- Create clear lines of communication – Communication is a crucial aspect for the success of your business at all times. However, this does not justify you to be bombarded by calls, emails, or texts from your staff at all times. Designate who can contact you during the holiday season, including your answering service. Ask your receptionist to contact your second-in-command when they have questions. Determine the parameters of what constitutes an emergency call and the procedure to contact you, if necessary.
- Trust staff to run the business – Delegate and put efficient systems in place by planning in advance on matters such as on how to handle unexpected calamities. Choose the right staff for the right job. Discuss your concerns as well as those of your staff. Make sure they are all clear about what is expected of them as an individual staff and as a team. With these systems in place, your staff will manage just fine without you.
- Avoid micro-managing from afar – Allow your staff to fix minor issues when they arise on their own. Let them be responsible, inventive, and work as a unit. This also gives you an opportunity to assess just how the business runs without you.
- Get extra help – Choose an answering service for holiday incoming calls to ensure your business runs as usual. Outsource a professional answering service to provide 24/7 phone coverage as both a means of backing-up your employees and allowing them to be away for the holiday as well.
Enjoy the holidays
Keep the value of the holidays in mind. Enjoy your holiday season and come back with vitality to run your business for the year ahead.