Sunday, 21 July 2013

Mitigating risk of Holidays

The summer for many businesses can be seen as a nightmare of juggling staffing with the increased demands of expenditure. For small business this can prove a bigger headache than medium and large who have the staff size to cover holidays and can work on a rota system to handle the time off. For sole traders or small business this may simply not be an option.

Some tips which may help:

Know your customer behaviour

Knowing your customer demand pattern is key to assessing peaks and troughs in your business. If you have a naturally quiet period then using this time as your main holiday may be a better plan, however if you have other responsibilities such as a family the summer and school holidays may be the only time you can have a family get away. By first understanding your customer behaviour you may be able to work with clients to change there demand which would allow a slower fulfillment, meaning you can take a well deserved break. The issue with taking any time off and closing down your business is that you will not get paid, unlike a salaried position where you have holiday entitlement. Depending on your cash flow accepting a holiday may not be possible is one of the harsh realities of being a business person.

Stay-cation

Working less is an effective way to have fun days out with the family or friends. With technology accessible all over the UK you can stay connected and don't have to venture too far. This will ensure overall control is not lost and should anything untoward occur you are able to hurry back to address the issue. Many people are quick to leave the country for foreign holidays forgetting the wealth of entertainment on their doorstep, not to mention the cost saving that may be necessary during this prolonged recession.

Rely on friends or family

Trust no one, is sound advice if you want to work 24 hours a day but there comes a time when you will need to trust somebody. Having a friend or family cover may mean not all services are available but it will at least allow you a break knowing that they will do their upmost to keep your business ticking over.

Hire the professionals

There are agencies which will help, many offering staff and management to help run the business in your absence. Rather than rely on individuals by outsourcing your cover needs to an agency you can hold them to account and demand the expertise that may not be readily available in your local recruitment pool. There is always a premium to be paid for this type of service but may be worth the cost to ensure piece of mind