If you take some steps before you close up shop, you can be sure your business is safe and sound while you are away and that it will be ready to take on the new year when you return to open it again.
Inform Your Customers and Post Holiday Hours
There is nothing worse than showing up to a store or business and finding out it has changed its hours. Don’t let your customers down this Christmas. If you work in a shop or have a business were clients frequently stop by, inform your customers through email, mailers or social media of your holiday hours. It’s also a good idea to post holiday hours on your shop door.
Turn off Water Supplies
When it's so cold outside, your pipes are at risk of freezing, which can cause them to burst. Burst pipes can also be the result of other plumbing problems, and flooding can lead to a lot of expensive damage. Avoid this hassle and expense by turning off the water supply if you have access to it.
Prepare Security Systems
Your shop or business should have some security systems, like surveillance cameras, motion-activated lights and door and window alarms installed. Make sure those are working properly and will be activated when you leave. If you don’t have any security measures in place, now is a good time to install some.
Set the Thermostat
Since no one will be in your office or store while it is closed, it is okay to turn your thermostat down, but do not turn it completely off. If your furnace is turned off, the water in your pipes or appliances could freeze, causing a lot of damage. Cold air can also damage things like flooring, appliances and electronics.
Store Valuables in a Safe
Things like cash drawers, valuable equipment and important documents should be stored in a safe while you are away. The hope is that no one will break into your business, especially with your security systems in place, but just in case, it is wise to have these things protected.
A safe will also keep things secure in case of a flood, fire or other emergency. Make sure your safe is fire resistant and waterproof, and in the rare case that something happens to your business, you can rest assured that important paperwork and expensive equipment isn't damaged.
Turn on Outside Lights
Leave some lights, like a porch light or landscaping lights on while you are gone. If your business has a system that turns these lights on and off, make sure that system is working. Keeping the lights on will deter burglars and keep your business safer.
Set Timers for Inside Lights
It’s also a good idea to set a timer for lights inside your business, so it isn’t completely dark and doesn’t look empty, making it a target for burglary. If your building doesn’t already have a system installed, you can buy very affordable timers at a hardware store that will allow you to set at least some lights to turn on and off while you are away.
Shut Down Computers and other Electronic Equipment
Computers, printers, copy machines and other electronic equipment should be shut down completely before you leave for the holidays. These things can overheat if they are left on, and turning them off is a good way to decrease your utility bill. Of course, the exception to this rule is any equipment, like lights, timers, and security systems, that need to be left on to keep your business safe.
Do a Deep Clean
Doing a deep clean before you leave the office means it will be ready to start work with you when you return. When you get back, you’ll already be dealing with a lot of things, like emails, phone messages, and catch-up work, and you won’t want to deal with cleaning your office.
Right now is the opportune time to use a floor scrubber on the floors, clean out the refrigerator, take
out the garbage and dust shelves and storage areas.
To hire a floor scrubber, please head to our website: www.hss.com/c/1014427/Floor-Scrubbers.html.
Face the Shelves and Straighten Client Areas
If you face your shop’s shelves and straighten client areas before you leave on vacation, your business will be ready to accept guests immediately upon opening again. Straighten products and inventory, organise magazines and reception areas and prepare your office for clients before you shut things down for Christmas.
Have the Post Office Hold Your Mail
If you receive mail at your business, ask the post office to hold your mail. This is safe because it will prevent people from being able to steal important documents from your mailbox and it won’t make your store look empty and like a good target for burglary or vandalism. This holds true for newspapers too. Pause the delivery of anything you normally receive at your store before you leave.
Set up Email Vacation Responders
Before you leave, set up email vacation responders so that people won’t expect an immediate response while you are away. This is ideal if you aren’t planning on checking your email while on vacation, but even if you are, it’s still a good idea. With a vacation responder in place, you will probably get less email to catch up on when you come back and you won’t feel pressure to respond right away, since you contacts will know you are on vacation.
Preparing to close your shop or business for Christmas does take some work, but when these things are in place you will be confident that your business is safe over the holiday season and that it will be ready to take on work as usual when you return.