December wind-down checklist

Date: 4th December 2012

Consider what must be done before you pop the Christmas bubbles – it might save you a hangover and boost New Year celebrations!

1.       If your business experiences a seasonal influx, make sure to plan the necessary marketing and increased staff measures.  When will your staff be taking their holidays?

2.       Follow up outstanding debtors: people (and businesses) are more cash strapped in the New Year so politely encourage payment prior to Christmas – it will help your cash flow, which may be light if you shut down over Christmas and New Year.

3.       Are you sending emails, Christmas cards, or corporate gifts to top clients?  What about presents or bonuses for your staff?  Consider the rules around claiming entertainment expenses.

4.       Have lots of business cards and other marketing collateral on hand – unexpected networking can occur anywhere you’re on holiday.  Magnetic car signs attract welcome custom also.

5.       Have you correctly calculated, set up and approved holiday pay for payroll to occur while you’re on holiday?

6.       Need guidance or support from us, your lawyer or other business advisor?  Engage them well before Christmas – most offices shut down for a minimum of two weeks.

7.       Have you performed a year end computer detox, updated your virus software and backed up your server offsite?

8.       If your business is shutting down, make sure your voicemail message and website mention closing date info and emergency contact details.  Also, who will be responding to work related emails?

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