Prepare for seasonal interruptions

With the Christmas season almost upon us, now is the time to consider and prepare for the inevitable disruptions that go with this time of year.

By planning ahead, it is possible to minimise any negative impacts on orders, cashflow, customer support and marketing efforts. And it may make sense to hire a virtual assistant, to smooth the workflow and provide essential support.

There are a number of potential pitfalls through the end of the year. Some companies decide to close down operations, with the construction industry famously closing site operations for two weeks covering Christmas and New Year. Other businesses may continue to trade, but will expect troughs or peaks in activity, depending on the type of business they are in.

The seasonal break may also be a time when essential operations such as stock takes are carried out, or reconciliation of financial accounts. And inevitably there are issues around staff holidays, with the potential for a shortfall in manpower due to individuals taking seasonal breaks. There is even the company Christmas party to consider – who will be handling the telephones, if everyone is out of the office for half a day?

With some large companies closing operations for a period, cashflow can be an important consideration. If you are paid by major customers during the last week of the month, what happens should their office be closed during that week of December? It’s best to find out, rather than be left worrying when an expected payment is delayed due to a seasonal closedown.

Take an hour or so out of your day, and plan out resources for the period from mid December to mid January. If you need help, then make contact with a virtual assistant, who can cover staff shortages, help maintain important ongoing tasks and generally keep the ship running smoothly, when the festive season threatens to disrupt normal running. They can help manage email communication, plan outgoing marketing messages; remotely handle digital marketing and even support your vital accounting functions, as you come to the year end.

Of course, the end of the year is also time for making resolutions, and one such resolution might be to organise your business finances in a more streamlined way. At Timewise VA we help many clients use the cloud-based accounting system Xero to streamline their bookkeeping. Why not you – is now the moment to act on that New Year promise to sort out the management of your expenses and other essential bookkeeping functions? If so, get in touch now, and you can be sure to be all set up come January 1.

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