Taking a break at Christmas may bring bonuses

Taking a break at Christmas may bring bonuses

For ad-hoc payments prepare pre-Christmas and forward to clients, requesting payment on their return and advising an additional invoice may be forwarded on your return.

The Christmas holiday period can bring festive joy and stresses at the same time for business owners.

While personally there is time to meet colleagues and business partners socially, and the demands of buying the right presents for family and friends, the idea of running and maintaining the business at the same time might be a bit more challenging.

Nowadays, it seems the festive fortnight is a time when many businesses close down for the whole two weeks. This year we will see many companies finish this Friday returning January 5 – some revitalised and some deciding to head for pastures new. Historically it is a time when people make life changing decisions about staying or leaving work. For many businesses its the last invoicing time of the year when on-time payments are much appreciated.

The worries may come for next month’s finances when payments could be delayed. In this case, it is worth preparing invoices covering regular payments, such as retainers and contracted hours. Plus, you should forward these to clients before you finish.

For ad-hoc payments prepare pre-Christmas and forward to clients, requesting payment on their return and advising that an additional invoice may be forwarded on your return.

If you issue statements at the end of the month, consider moving it forward to December 19. This will make sure your clients are aware of what is due. Remember, credit control is essential and if you work with SMEs, they could be in the same situation as you. So make sure you talk to them about payment structures, where you stand and what you both need.

For some business owners, taking a break may feel like a luxury you can’t afford. But realistically, the greatest gift you can give yourself, and your business, is a break from day-to-day actions. You will have spent the last year working hard to build and grow your business or even turnaround operations. It is important to take some time out for a break.

A bit of time off often means the chance to think strategically and maximise opportunities. Why not take time out to think about a new or improved product and service, or spend some quality time on your business strategy. Also, those around you may help inspire you or provide inspiration for the next big business decision.Many business leaders are so engrossed in managing the business day-to-day, there is no or little time to innovate. Holidays can re-energise and refocus.

Sometimes a holiday break is easier said than done.  But remember, after a year of working hard, you’ve earned the right to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Even if you only rest for a couple of days. The best thing you can do for your company is return refreshed and ready to take on 2015.And sometimes, if you are so engrained in your business that you can’t take a break, you may even be compromising your business value. Remember team work – even Santa has his elves….

If you are not sure if your business can manage over the festive period, or want advice on where to go next year, take advice now. Don’t let your business become another insolvency statistic.

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