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Will you be working on Christmas Day?

More than half of UK small business owners say they will be…

More than half of UK small business owners will be working on Christmas Day, amidst increased pressure to stand out during the festive period.

New research from Vistaprint claims that over three quarters of UK small business owners will be working in some form during the entire festive season – while just 12% of small business owners expect to switch off for the whole of the Christmas period.

On the big day itself, 20% UK SME owners say they’ll be keeping an eye on emails, while 15% said they would be working a normal day and 17% catching up on paperwork. Even then, nearly two thirds will be straight back to work on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

With the majority of UK small businesses being service providers, tradesmen and business/marketing consultants it’s almost impossible to take a break. Here are our tips on how to switch off and still run a business during the festive period:

  1. Prioritisation

If work keeps getting in the way of your Christmas downtime, try to shift it forward. Depending on its urgency, chances are it can wait until you’re back at work full-time. Ahead of time, decide what absolutely does need to be ticked off your list and what can be handled later down the line. Giving yourself time to consider these aspects is key to peace of mind.

  1. Customers first

If your industry is retail, service or production-based, your opening hours will likely change over the festive period. How can you best communicate that to your customers? If you’re operating on reduced hours over Christmas, you can post your temporary hours on your social media channels. On the other hand, if your business is completely closed throughout the festive period, having a friendly out-of-office email response will let people know when you’re back open for business.

  1. Staff are a close second

Remember that your team needs a break too. Try to coordinate annual leave as early as possible so everyone gets their fair break and can make personal plans with family or friends. Also consider a gesture to say thanks and spread some good-will amongst your team at a time where organisations have to pull together.

  1. Tactical shut down

Try limiting yourself to a window to check social media and chase emails (for example, 7am-9am) and then give yourself the rest of the day free of distractions. The best way to switch off is to only respond to urgent queries or requests. Your emails will still be in the inbox on 2nd January, and you can give any questions your true attention then.

  1. Enjoy the downtime

So you’ve sorted your customers, your suppliers and your team members – now it’s time to turn the focus to yourself. The festive season happens once a year and the daily grind will be back upon you soon enough. Take the time to enjoy a well-deserved break!

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