05 Dec Your Trade Business Christmas Checklist
Christmas time can be chaos particularly running a trade business. Clients want everything completed before the big day and jobs are flying around left right and centre. Here are a few tips based on my own experience to help you feel a bit more organised this silly season.
- Plan your Christmas Party– Get onto this one early. Things get booked out pretty quickly so it’s good to get this ticked off the list first. You and the team worked hard all year, it’s time to reward yourselves and celebrate! We always get stuck for ideas for our Christmas party and usually end up having a BBQ, but this year I’m organising something a little different and taking the team on a guided kayaking tour exploring Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where we live.
- Organise Finances – The end of December and January can be pretty quiet for a lot of trades, so it’s good to plan for this and have some reserves to keep you going in case things are a bit slow to get going in the New Year. I always like to start a New Year with a fresh slate, so where possible,it’s a good idea to pay any outstanding supplier invoices. Also, make sure any invoices owed to you are followed up and paid before the break. In our experience, in the frenzy of Christmas invoices can be forgotten about and not paid until the holidays are over.
- Organise Materials – Check suppliers’ holiday trading hours. If you plan on just taking off the public holidays, as sometimes we do, make sure you have enough materials ordered to be able to keep working if your suppliers are closing.
- Cards and Presents to Clients – Christmas is a great way to touch base with past clients and help to keep you front of mind for the New Year. It’s nice to thank them for their business and show that you value your relationship with them. I read a great tip somewhere last year that you can also send a Happy New Year card, which is another little reminder that you are there once the haze of Christmas has been and gone.
- Plan Work for the New Year – It’shard to think about the New Year with so much going on, but like I have mentioned, things can be quiet. We find we get a big influx of work before Christmas but actually find that some people don’t mind starting their jobs in January, they just like to know that their jobs are booked in before the end of the year. So if the jobs aren’t urgent, move the overflow from Christmas to the New Year so you have work lined up to go back to.
- Out of Office on – I always forget this one. Set up an out of office message to auto reply to your emails while you are taking a break. Include holiday business hours so clients know when you will be back in business.
- Wrap up on Social Media – As with sending Christmas cards, Christmas posts on social media help to keep you front of mind for the New Year. It’s also another way to remind people of your holiday trading hours.
- Christmas Newsletter – We send out a newsletter wrapping up the year.We includejob photos and descriptions of what we have done through the year, introduce any new employees that have joined us and include a special offer for using our business in the New Year. People love to see a face behind a business, so it’s also a good opportunity to include a family happy snap or a picture of you/your team.
- Goals –I like to look back on the year that has passed and assess what we have done well and what we could improve on. I then set goals for the following year on how we can grow as a business.
- Relax – Having a trade business is tough, physically and mentally. It can be tempting to work on the back office side of things while everything is a bit quieter. Be sure to set aside some time to relax and enjoy the break.
I hope these tips will assist in setting you up for a stress free holiday season. Before you know it you will be running around like a headless chicken again so enjoy some down time while you can. After all, you deserve it!