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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 8 Things Founders Should Take Care of Before Shutting Down for the Holidays

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 8 Things Founders Should Take Care of Before Shutting Down for the Holidays

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What is one thing entrepreneurs forget to automate, systemize, or build processes around before they shut down for holidays?

1. Finances

Kelly Azevedo

    Before you take off, ensure that the finances of your business are handled, including paying employees, accepting automated payments from clients, handing pay failures and paying your own invoices. By automating, you won’t return to an empty bank account and overdue bills.
    Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

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    2. Time Management

    Grant Gordon

      Entrepreneurs and business owners don’t plan on not being busy. Holidays are meant for friends and family, and although we need to see business boom, you can still plan to focus on your social time without the distractions of a phone, tablet or laptop. Plan your days to be carefree, and “budget” time to check in with work — not the other way around.
      Grant Gordon, Solomon Consulting Group

      3. Social Media Posts

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      Ronnie Castro

        Using a message scheduling tool such as HootSuite is great for planning tweets and other social media posts to hit over the holidays, so you don’t have to. You can rest easy knowing that your followers will automatically continue to get consistent updates and messages from your company during your down time.
        Ronnie Castro, Porch

        4. Holiday Shipping and Returns

        Brett Farmiloe

          Clearly communicating holiday shipping and return information before shutting down is crucial to customer conversions and satisfaction. You can do this in several ways. Your can use language such as, “final day to order to receive by Christmas” on product descriptions and shipping pages. You can also set up an email autoresponder for the emails typically associated with customer questions.
          Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company

          5. Customer Support

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          Thursday-Bram 2

            You can’t assume that your customers aren’t working just because you’ve taken off for the holidays. You can’t even assume that your customers celebrate the same holidays that you do. So make sure your customers can at least get a basic level of assistance while you’re away. Even writing up fixes for the most common problems they might encounter is a step in the right direction.
            Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

            6. Proper Notifications

            Andy Karuza

              Make sure you clearly communicate to people that you’ll be out of office, whether it’s through an email autoresponder or a message you post on your Facebook page. As long as you take the due diligence to announce your impending shut down, your customers and partners will be mostly satisfied with their inability to reach you.
              Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee

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              7. Signed Contracts

              russ oja

                Many companies have a new budget starting in January of each year, which means you should be rather proactive with closing deals in November and December before everybody leaves the office and comes back at the start of the year. Proactive sales in the last few months of the year will help you launch big at the start of the new year.
                Russ Oja, Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC

                8. Team Vacation Tracking

                Nanxi Liu

                  Because our teammates have different dates they are taking off during the holidays, we wanted to be respectful of everyone’s days off. So, we had everyone update the company calendar with the dates they will be available and unavailable during the holidays.
                  Nanxi Liu, Enplug

                  More by this author

                  9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                  1 7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy 2 How to Become a Morning Person: 8 Steps to Kickstart 3 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted) 4 How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make 5 What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

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                  Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                  7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

                  7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

                  “Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

                  “Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

                  As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

                  Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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                  The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

                  To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

                  1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

                  Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

                  “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

                  2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

                  Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

                  3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

                  If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

                  It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

                  4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

                  One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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                  If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

                  5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

                  It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

                  If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

                  Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                  6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

                  If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

                  7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

                  If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

                  So, How To Get out of Busyness?

                  Take a look at these articles to help you get unstuck:

                  Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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