The real cost of a week of public holidays on small recruitment businesses.

There is nothing an employee loves more than the years Easter Runs into Anzac day or Christmas and New Years falls mid week. What could be better than paid days off?! But as a small business owner this can a stressful time of year.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen a budget or business plan from a small Recruitment business owner that has a standard revenue figure entered across 12 months of a year. When asked what allowances they have made for Christmas and Easter they shrug it off and then 9 times out of 10 will give up all sense of reason for lent as they panic about a quite market and clients being unavailable.

Here’s the thing – there is a reason why larger employers enforce holidays over periods like Christmas. They know customers/clients will also take leave, or are unlikely to hire during these periods so what is the point of having a fully manned office during these times when your employees will have little to do, only to have them want to take leave at peak times during the year?

A perk of starting your own business is that you can work when you want and don’t have to bend to pesky inconveniences like imposed Christmas holidays when you’d rather take a European Summer Vacay in July. But this also means you need to take into consideration the inevitable business troughs.

This year we face a situation where we have a 4 day working week, followed by a 3 day working week all coupled with school holidays. Chances are you will have clients and even candidates who are incredibly difficult to reach, figures may take a slump and budgets might not be hit. BUT, this doesn’t have to be a disaster.

They way I see it, you have 2 options to tackling these potential lulls in business. The first is to also take your leave at these times. Take the opportunity when business might be quiet twice a year to take some time off yourself, recharge the batteries and know that you are taking leave at a quieter time so your downtime won’t have a huge impact on business activity.

The second, is to plan for it. Realise this is going to be a quieter period and ensure you aren’t banking on standard revenue during these times. If you employ good business planning and cash flow projection practices, you can be prepared for these quieter times and know that your business and personal finances aren’t going to take a huge hit. Budget a couple of $0 months a year and make sure you have funds put aside to cover them. From an activity perspective if you aren’t taking leave, use this time to get organised – maybe review your business plan, get on top of administrative tasks that get pushed aside during busy periods, create a marketing plan or make a list of new targets – there are 100 things you could catch up on!

And if planning, budgeting and cash flow projections are all foreign concepts in the too hard basket for you, do not fear, they are our jam, maybe we can help you out!

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