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It’s important to think about what having a break means for your business and the steps needed to ensure a relaxing time off.

They say small business owners never sleep, but now is  a good chance to have a well-deserved break while other businesses take it easy too.

Whether the shutdown period is a few days or a few weeks, here are some steps to follow before switching off.

Tell People

It’s crucial employees, clients and suppliers know you’re going to be out of action. Use a variety of methods, email, or note on invoices to let clients know when the business will be closed. Make sure you include the details for when it reopens.

Give them plenty of notice so they can make their own arrangements. It’s also a good idea to give them some details about how to contact you for urgent matters.

For employees, again an email or note in their payslip will do the trick. Give them lots of notice too so they can make plans and organise holidays.

Set Email and Phone Messages

Record an appropriate voicemail on your phone outlining when the office reopens and how to contact you urgently. Set up out of office alerts for all emails to ensure you’re not inundated while away.

Equally important as turning on phone and email notifications is turning them off and going through them as soon as you’re back in business.

Backup Your Servers

If you don’t operate fully in the cloud, make sure your backups are working. It’s a precautionary measure, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s also a good time for employees to go through their own work and delete any unused files or desktop clutter.

Turn Off Office Equipment

Ask employees to turn off, not just log off, their computers and monitors. All lights, photocopiers and printers should also be switched off, particularly if your business is closing for more than a few days. This is a great chance to reduce your power bill.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Don’t leave tasks to be finished in the New Year or after the break, finish them off before you close. This means coming back feeling refreshed and ready to start on a clean slate, as opposed to trying to remember important contacts, dates and details from a project started weeks ago.

Have A Holiday

Having a holiday is about rest and relaxation, so don’t try to work remotely. Try and switch off technology and if you have to check emails, try and keep it to a minimum.

Most importantly, enjoy the break, relax and unwind, and come back ready and roaring to go!