How to utilise technology to ensure a proper break over the festive period
When you run your own business, it can be hard to let go over the festive period, but it’s also important that you take a break and spend time with friends and family (that includes the mother-in-law I’m afraid!) And although you may want to wish all your customers a “Merry Christmas” on the big day, it might not be practical to have Facebook open at the dinner table, or when the kids are excitedly opening their presents. Technology can play a huge part in keeping you active over the Christmas period, without requiring you to actually touch your laptop at all. But how you ask?
Scheduling social media posts
On your Facebook page, click “Publishing tools” at the top, then click “scheduled posts” on the left, then top right “Create”. Here you will create a post as normal, but instead of publishing in that moment, you can schedule the post to arrive in your customers feeds at a certain time on a certain date.
Voila! A Happy Christmas from you, to your customers on the big day. All whilst you tuck into the 3rd mince pie of the day from the comfort of your sofa 😉
Social media scheduling tools for Twitter, Instagram & Linked In
Unlike Facebook, you cannot schedule Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn posts directly on the respective platforms. But luckily there are various tools you can use to schedule your social media content, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and more. Here are just a handful of examples:
Most scheduling tools are free, however with a paid subscription you will get extra features. Buffer, for example, only allows you to post up to a maximum of 10 at one time. But unless you’re a Social Media Manager, it’s unlikely you would need to schedule any more than that anyway.
Out of Office
Even though you might be sipping on a snowball or glass of Babycham, your co-workers, customers, and other business associates are still in the office and may not know that you’re unavailable. Before embarking on a lengthy Christmas break, it’s imperative that you set an out of office reply to let senders know you’re gone. https://www.getmailbird.com/out-of-office-message-templates/ has some great templates if you’re stumped on what to include. They even suggest you can generate leads, purely on what you include in your wording - Genius!
Getting invoices paid on time
Designed for small businesses, Xero allows you to automate the sending and receiving of invoices, so that you can be sure your customers will pay you in time. If your invoicing date happens to land between Christmas and New Year, the last thing you want to be doing when the turkey is in the oven, is to be creating, sending and chasing invoices. Xero takes the headache out of invoicing - Go to https://www.xero.com/uk/ to get set up!
Blocking unimportant notifications
The Offtime App blocks incoming calls and SMS, letting pass through only those of the people you want, such as family (and possibly your boss), and sending automatic replies to the others. If you feel the need to check what’s going on, in the Notifications section you can see everything that happened while “offtime”, such as e-mails, calls and messages that the app had blocked.
This Christmas don't forget to leave your guilt at the office! Taking time away is good for you, your team, and your organisation. So have a fantastic break and enjoy special moments with loved ones. I’m off for a pint now……. see you in the New Year with a new blog!
Do you have any tips on how to wind down properly over the festive period? Tweet us at @ShaunPrincePC