How Productive will Managers be this Christmas?



Many managers and business owners admit they spend too much time in the business rather than on it. With the end of 2016 in sight, have you been thinking about setting aside some time for some much required strategic thinking?

It’s something that can get pushed down the priority list, particularly in a small business where managers often take on a variety of duties. The warning signs are out there though – only 23% of small companies have a strategy to support growth, and many of them go out of business within a few years.

As the old saying goes then, success comes to those who plan for it. We put the question to a range of managers and business owners across multiple industries – you can see how you compare to the results shown below.

How long will the business close for over Christmas?

With Christmas this year falling on a Sunday – giving us a boost of Bank Holidays – it’s no surprise that almost half (46%) of businesses we surveyed will ‘shut shop’ for 1 week over the festive period. This is shortly followed by 42% of respondents outlining that businesses will wind down for less than 7 days. Only 12% of those we surveyed will be closing down the business for 2 weeks.

It’s important to factor these dates into your December and New Year plans, in terms of chasing payments, deliveries, meetings and deadlines; as your suppliers and customers may not be available while you’re still in the office!

How much work will be done during this time?

Although the business may close its doors for the Christmas period, we often find business managers and owners are reluctant to switch off. We put that to the test by asking respondents whether they would be doing any work while the rest of the team enjoy some down time.

31% of those we surveyed were happy to confirm they will not be doing any work, while 50% said they’ll be doing some work from home and odd days in the office (in between the mince pies and board games!) That leaves just 19% of business owners and managers working as usual during the festivities. Again, you must factor this into your plans for the next few months in terms of getting hold of suppliers, clients and so on.

What type of work will be done?

Those who’ll be working over the Christmas break, will mainly be “keeping on top of, and responding to emails” (39%) and reviewing processes and procedures (26%) ready for the New Year.

An additional 17% of those surveyed will be reviewing their accounts, chasing money and working on the business’ cash flow, reading and catching up on industry developments (17%) and target setting, reviewing business objectives and challenges (17%).

Other tasks that will be worked on over Christmas include reviewing competitors (9%), updating standards, products and services (13%), business forecasting (4%) and reviewing customers (4%).

Meanwhile, in accordance with the earlier sections, 30% of the business owners and managers we surveyed will not be doing any of their usual duties during the time they’re off.

*Percentages equal more than 100% as respondents could select more than one answer.

How often are business plans reviewed?

30% of those surveyed said they review their business plans annually, with 26% revisiting their plans on a quarterly basis. The remaining respondents either review the business plans monthly, bi-annually or not at all.

The benefits of a business plan are vast. Likewise, it’s advantageous to continually revisit and review your business plans to ensure your goals are SMART and that you are on track to achieving them by the ‘deadline’ you’ve given.

RECOMMENDED READ: The importance of a business plan and how to write one

How you can plan for 2017 and beyond

Whilst many respondents plan to set time aside to work on strategy, the majority aren’t. As a result, there’s clearly an opportunity for those who want to hit the ground running in 2017.

It’s a widely known fact that implementing ISO standards within business irons out any creases and helps to develop robust management systems and processes. By having ISO standards in place, businesses can cut costs, increase customer satisfaction, improve quality and safety, access new markets, ensure compatibility of products and services, boost staff morale and much more!

We’re a leading UK based Certification Body, certifying thousands of companies to the 4 most popular management standards;

Without insistent staff pestering you on an hourly basis, the Christmas break can be a great time to think things over, and start jotting down some new ideas. Why not set yourself the challenge of working through our dedicated guide?

Get 2017 off to a flying start – view our FREE Business Owner’s Guide to Christmas, full of simple, strategy-focused tips.