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How to prepare for the summer holidays
28 June 2024

The school holidays are fast approaching bringing with them excitement and anxiety for business owners. Balancing the demands of your company whilst staff have time off can be challenging. You may also have the juggle of working and family responsibilities and wanting a break yourself.

Here are some of our top tips to prepare you for the summer holidays so that your business and personal life can run smoothly.

 

Organise Your Finances   

Before you go off enjoying the sun (hopefully!), take some time to organise your business finances. We would suggest reviewing your cashflow – late payments can disrupt your cash flow and create unnecessary stress, we would suggest evaluating your current processes and identify areas where you can improve efficiency.

If you’re on a cloud accounting system such as Xero, scheduling your sales invoices is an easy way to keep the cash flowing while you enjoy that romance novel. The repeating invoice function allows you to invoice your clients on a regular basis without having to lift a finger. This can be combined with tailored e-mail reminders which automatically prompt clients who haven’t paid but still have that personal touch.

It’s also a good idea to check if there are any processes that can be automated.

Take a look at the manual tasks that eat up hours of staff time every month and identify those that can be automated. Using an add-on like Hubdoc automatically processes, categorises and sends your purchase receipts into Xero without you having to do a thing and are all sat there for easy reconciliation.

Streamlining your processes and operations will not only improve productivity but will help you stay on top of your financial situation so that you can not only relax and enjoy the time off but also avoid any surprises on your return.

 

Plan ahead

 

Summer is a popular time for employees to take holidays. We encourage the team to book their holidays in advance so that we have time to see what needs covering, move deadlines, and communicate with clients. Especially with staff holidays probably overlapping, depending on the size of your business, knowing early gives you the time to create a plan and keep the business running smoothly whilst the team get to enjoy their much-deserved holidays.

We use a project management tool called Monday.com so that everyone can add when they’re off. We also have a white board for when people are in the office so that we can quickly and easily see who is away and when they are back. We also use Pixie for all our tasks which helps the team see what work is coming up and that may need covering. These can then be reassigned or the date moved if agreed by the client.

 

Make the Most of Technology

 

We would recommend using a cloud accounting software like Xero. Xero is cloud based, which means you can use it from any device, whether that’s a laptop, tablet or phone. It’s an easy-to-use solution for small and medium-sized businesses and can manage everything from invoicing to payroll, preparing reports to submitting VAT returns. It helps reduce paperwork, boost efficiency and takes the strain out of your everyday bookkeeping in a simple, secure, cost-effective way.

Xero brings everything together in a single place, so you can figure out your finances in just a couple of clicks meaning if you are going to have a sneaky peak whilst enjoying that glass of sangria, you can do so easily. It also allows you to collaborate with clients and team members remotely.

 

Set Clear Expectations

 

Communication is key. Before the school holidays begin, we would suggest advising your clients of your holidays so that you not only set expectations, but it also gives them time to let you know if anything is urgent that needs doing. Setting clear expectations can stop potential frustrations and issues, we find our clients are prepared to wait, or happily move deadlines. We introduce our clients to the staff member that will be covering (if this is the case) and also set up an out of office email.

 

Create a schedule

 

Flexibility is key in our business but even more so in the school holidays. The team have the flexibility to manage their own time whether that be working early in the morning or later in the evening and whether they work in the office or at home. This helps with managing stress and gives them the freedom to enjoy time with their family.

 

Outsource

 

Whilst it is important that your business runs smoothly, it’s also important to have some much-needed rest as this can help with your mental health and productivity.

It can be very easy to try and push through and keep trying to manage everything on your own but unfortunately this not only leads to mistakes but to bigger problems in the long run.  The best way to make sure you can enjoy your holidays, is to hire professionals that you trust to do it for you. Outsourcing can help put customer service first and maintain high-quality services and standards without compromising family time and taking that much needed break. If we can help please get in touch 😊