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End of the Year Business Checklist: What You Need to do Before Going on Break

We're now fast approaching the end of year!

With the election over and a contentious World Cup Final still a sore point for some, we avert our attention and energy to finishing a turbulent year strongly.

It’s certainly been a challenging year for many owners and businesses with financial and economic pressures as well as the uncertainty present prior to the election. Its' almost a relief to soon move into the imminent holiday season.

With that in mind we should all be ensuring that if and when we are planning to take some well-overdue down time, that our business isn’t exposed as a result. The following checklist has been compiled to help you better plan for such a break.

First & Foremost:

  1. Check that all necessary business insurances are in place and paid up to date, with special attention to Cyber and Property.

  2. If shutting down completely, ensure you discuss this with key clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders so to manage their expectations.

  3. Encourage all staff to do a “walk around” in the week before shut-down to identify considerations.

  4. Ensure sufficient cash is on hand to cover commitments and that signatories are available on key dates to authorise payments – i.e., payroll, supplier, IRD taxes.

  5. If relying on skeleton staff to keep things ticking over, ensure they can cover critical business operations and planned holiday period workload.

  6. Ensure that the rest of your senior staff (other than you) are assigned responsibilities and are capable of making decisions in your absence if needed.

From a Facilities perspective:

  • Back up all computers, data and electronic documentation.

  • Turn off all unnecessary work equipment.

  • Test fire alarms and equipment and replace batteries (if necessary).

  • Check to ensure all security systems are working.

  • Consider putting lights on a timer at night to suggest people are inside.

  • Shut and lock all windows, empty all bins, and water all plants.

From an Operational perspective:

  • Make sure your clients and suppliers know of your closure (email them).

  • Send out or pay any outstanding invoices. If you’re a larger organisation your smaller suppliers will appreciate this.

  • Inform your landlord (if applicable) and security firm about your planned closure.

  • Notify office cleaners of your closedown dates and that a lower level of service is required over the shut-down.

  • Get all staff with email and mobile phones to set up out-of-office messages.

  • Reschedule or cancel any incoming recurring deliveries or services (e.g., regular supplier packages such as café supplies, and stationery)

From an Employee perspective:

  • Tell your employees well in advance that you plan to close down all or part of your business. It’s important for well-being that Leave is taken with the added benefit of reducing the annual leave provision in the Balance Sheet.

  • Assign responsibility to trusted employee(s) to secure facilities on the final day.

Better to be prepared for closure than have the unenviable task of cleaning up on your return, or even worse, having your holiday shortened unnecessarily.

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