With less than 2 weeks until Christmas you need to prepare your clients.  They will be busy thinking about their own plans.  Here are 10 tips for getting organised and enjoying a stress-free Christmas and a focused start to 2012.

1) Let your clients know how many days holiday you will be taking over this break
Even if you only plan to take off a few days it’s important to leave work at work and not to check your emails, put an out of office message into your email software!

2) Explain to them clearly that you will NOT be available during this period
Your clients should respect your boundaries, and if you put an out of office message on your emails they will be reminded you are not available to work.

3) Ask if there is anything they need done urgently in advance of these dates and give them a deadline
There is nothing worse than receiving work at the last minute before a holiday, so be very clear about the deadline, give yourself enough time to complete it before you start your Christmas celebrations.

4) Discreetly ascertain their particular Christmas/Mid Winter plans
It’s beneficial to your business to have a good working relationship with your clients, asking them what their plans are for Christmas and New Year will make them feel you are genuinely interested in them.

5) Remember to wish them season’s greetings once you have the above information
Send them an e-greeting or compose a nice email.

6) Don’t under estimate how many days you will need to enjoy your own celebrations.
Spend quality time with your loved ones, it is difficult to switch off from work when you run your own business but if you have put an out of office message on your emails and told your clients which days you will be unavailable you have the time to relax, make the most of it!

7) If you’re likely to socialise over Christmas, make sure you are unable to send clients drunken text messages and emails, and that they are unable to read any drunken Facebook/Twitter updates!
When you are out enjoying the festive parties, resist the urge to use your smart-phone and at the very least update Facebook/Twitter the following day when you are more likely not to post drunken messages.  Your clients won’t look kindly on this behaviour, even when you are technically ‘out of the office’.

8) Avoid returning to work hung-over
When you return to work ensure you are fully available to start working straight away, there will no doubt be emails to deal with and clients to speak to, having a hangover will not only be unprofessional but you won’t feel like working either.

9) Once you have returned to work, email all your clients and tell them you’re back
Don’t send a mass email to all your clients, take the time to email them individually, ask how they enjoyed Christmas… it will give them a good feeling for the start of the New Year!

10) Have a good one and plan for a successful 2012
Enjoy yourself, follow my tips and good luck for 2012.  Why not take a look at this blog post I came across ~ Are you prepared for 2012? 

If you’re thinking of hiring a virtual assistant in 2012, please get in touch for more details.  To see what a virtual assistant can help you with, take a look at my recent blog post 20 Reasons for Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

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