How to shut your business at Christmas and keep customers happy

Ah, Christmas time ... It’s the time that most small business owners look forward to. I bet you can’t wait to shut down for a few days (or weeks) and try not to think about work.

But in reality, it’s not always that easy, is it? Most of us are a little addicted to our businesses, and we think the world may end if we’re not available to our customers.

The great news is that in this online world of running a business, you can easily shut down for a little while with minimal impact on your customers. It’s totally doable! So, let’s run through a couple of quick things you can do.

Our top 5 tips for taking a break from your business

  1. Add a note to your email signature
    One of the easiest ways to start notifying your customers that you’re taking a break is to add a note to your email signature. It can be as simple as, ‘I’m finally taking a holiday and will be away from (date) until (date). I hope you have a very Merry Christmas’.

    Here are some quick guides to help you get your email signature sorted:
  2. Change your voicemail message
    If you’ve got an answering service for your business, change the greeting to include your upcoming office closure. It’s a great way to start letting your clients know that you’re going to be away. When your holidays finally start, change this greeting to say you’re currently out of the office on leave and give them your alternatives (i.e. you’ll call back when you’re back in the office, please email, and you’ll respond when you’re back in, contact your backup person etc.).
  3. Make a note on your website
    If your clients are likely to visit your website (i.e. to make bookings, check your services etc.), create a banner wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and announcing the dates you’ll be out of your office. This may save a few phone calls as you’ve made it clear that you’re not available.
  4. Announce your break on your social media pages
    In the lead up to your break, create posts wishing everyone a happy holiday period and mentioning that you’ll be taking a short break too. Schedule a post on the day before you start your holidays reminding everyone that from tomorrow, you will be on holidays and give them your date of return.
  5. Hire a business ‘babysitter’
    If you’re worried about not having anyone around to answer your calls or emails or deal with any issues that arise, you can always hire a virtual assistant (VA) or a virtual receptionist for the holiday season. A virtual receptionist can answer your calls and send you an email or SMS if there are any urgent matters. They may also be able to take bookings for you so when you return from leave; it’ll be business as usual.

Here’s what we’ve noticed about the Christmas holidays

Almost everyone takes a break at this time of year!

If you provide a service to other service-based businesses, you’ll probably find they’re also shutting down, so it’s a good time to take a break anyway.

If you provide allied health services, many clients won’t want to book appointments at this busy time of year, so it’s also a good time for you to shut down.

If you’re a tradie, people will only call for urgent issues at Christmas time, so you’re also pretty safe to have a break.

Here’s how you can remain open but not present!

If you still want to give your clients the impression that you’re available and open over the holiday season, our team of virtual receptionists are here to help. We’ll be around to answer your phone calls and send you any messages that are urgent. You can relax with your loved ones knowing we’re keeping your business active.

Book your complementary new client enquiry, or call 1300 39 30 30 to see how we can help you have a stress free Christmas holiday.

While I'm at it!

Off-Site Reception will remain open throughout the Christmas/New Year period, aside from the public holidays.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year.