December 16, 2019
Yeah…it’s just around the corner…the preparations are well and truly underway. The Christmas parties are actually happening, the cards are being written, presents wrapped, Secret Santa’s bought…but what should you be doing to prepare your business for closure over the festive period? It’s worth SMEs, especially office-based businesses, to take a moment to prepare.
Little steps will make sure your business is secure over the festive period, plus you will also probably save money from not having unnecessary energy consumption. Granted some elements will need to keep going regardless of whether you are operating or not, but here are our tips for things you should be thinking about:
Decrease Your Operating Costs
For most businesses, the Christmas holidays slow. Everyone is in the festive spirit, entertaining clients or being entertained. The knock on effects of which are there are likely to be fewer customers calls, fewer deals made and let’s face it, like it or not; employees might well be spending work time online shopping! So, the period between Christmas and the New Year provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to close and practically enables you to cut down on overheads during a traditionally slow week. It’s true some businesses will have to remain open, but it is worth exploring what the real cost of staying open equates to and whether it wouldn’t be more efficient to shut the doors during the holidays.
Unplug laptop chargers
If you are stopping operations for the week then one of the simplest things to minimise on is energy consumption. On average, leaving a laptop on charge for 24 hours costs £1.68, so for a company of 20 employees, so the cost of leaving laptops consistently plugged in but not being used can soon rack up. For example, unplugging chargers over a typical nine day shutdown could reduce your overheads by about £300.
Shut down non-essential equipment
However, switching stuff off should not be limited to PCs and laptops. Think of other things that use power that no one will be using, such as water coolers, fridges, printers and kitchen appliances. Take a little wander around your space before shutting down to make sure nothing has been overlooked.
Switch off all the lights
The realities are that lighting contributes to a large portion of a working environment’s energy consumption. That extra minute making sure that all unnecessary lights are off can also add to energy savings.
Turn down the thermostat
Obvious yes…! But heating roughly equates to 35% of a SMEs energy costs. Just a reduction of 1°C can potentially reduce the heating bill over this period. It might actually be worth lowering it even more than that on the last day in the office to get some more significant financial benefits (but make sure it is high enough to not cause any pipes to freeze).
Set an out of office email
Make sure everyone sets up an out of office email. But why not take this opportunity to have some fun with your message too, as it is Christmas after all. Wish people a great time over the holiday period, confirm when you will be back in action and who to contact in an emergency while you are closed.
Record a new voicemail
The little touches make all the difference and this task can often be overlooked. Make sure it features all the same information that the out of office email has including when you are back open again for business and your emergency contact information.
Right that should be you all set for the festive season! So, finally, wish your team a fabulous Christmas break, thank them for their help and look forward to working with them the following year.