Summer is coming, the pohutukawa is about to bloom, the beach beckons – but if you’re shutting up shop for the Christmas holidays, make sure your business is also ready to take a break.
This checklist is a good place to start. You might find you have other tasks to check off for your own business. Print this out – or copy it into a new document – to tick off tasks as the festive season approaches.
- Check your insurance is up to date so it’s valid over the holidays.
- Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if necessary.
- Let your landlord or property manager know when you’ll be away.
- Turn off heating, lighting, appliances and computer equipment.
- Clean out perishable food from the fridge.
- Give indoor plants an extra good watering (or take them home if you’ve got green thumbs).
- Put the rubbish out.
- Notify businesses that regularly deliver to you of your closedown dates, eg the water cooler company and the sanitation equipment company.
- Put a hold on any newspaper deliveries.
- Notify the office cleaner of closure dates, and consider organising a thorough clean while the premises are empty.
- Order supplies needed in January in time, and ensure delivery isn’t during your closedown.
Finances, leave and pay
Make sure you have enough funds in your business account to cover automatic payments for salaries and other regular bills.
Ensure all your tax requirements (GST, PAYE, student loans and other employer deductions) are in order if they have to be filed during your holiday.
Calculate holiday pay ahead of time.
Give employees 14 days’ notice if you have an annual closedown, eg the office or workshop closes over Christmas and no one is to work.
Clarify with staff what their leave breakdown is – what’s compulsory leave and when they’re due back at work.
Clients and suppliers
Tell clients when you’ll be closing and reopening – post this on your website, in out-of-office replies, on your answer phone, and if appropriate on the front door of your business premises.
- Pay your suppliers’ invoices.
- Send out your own invoices.
- Share emergency contact details with staff and clients who might need them.
And here’s a reminder of those upcoming public holidays:
25 December 2015: Christmas Day (Friday)
26 December 2015: Boxing Day (Saturday)
28 December 2015: Boxing Day observed for staff who don’t usually work on Saturdays
1 January 2016: New Year’s Day (Friday)
2 January 2016: The day after New Year’s Day (Saturday)
4 January 2016: 2 January holiday observed for staff who don’t usually work on Saturdays