Top 5 Business Tasks to Outsource or Automate Over the Holidays


December 28, 2022

Whether you’re planning to take time off over the festive season or simply want to enjoy an impromptu vacation from time to time, outsourcing and automation are your best friends as a business owner. To help you achieve the very worthy goal of being able to step away from your business for a well-deserved break, we’ve broken down the five most valuable tasks to outsource or automate during the holidays. 

The benefits of these strategies extend far beyond the holiday season, helping you streamline processes, save time, and free your in-house team to tackle more value-driven tasks. So, you have every reason to make them a central part of your business plan. 

Essential Tasks to Outsource or Automate Over the Holidays

Outsource: IT Support and Cybersecurity

Data breach statistics show that criminals favour holidays and weekends for launching attacks. The reasoning behind this preference is obvious – a closed business is more likely to be an unguarded business. If you don’t have someone keeping an eye on your systems while you’re away, it could be days (or possibly even weeks) before you notice a breach has occurred. Every second counts for bad actors when they’re infiltrating a system, so if you aren’t alerted to their presence for an entire vacation period, you’ll be in for a world of pain when you get back. 

Your best bet to avoid coming back to a hacked and encrypted system is to engage a local Managed Service Provider (MSP) to guard your system while you’re away. Doing so will allow your entire team to take time off, and if you opt for a company like Invotec that offers 24/7 monitoring, your system will be just as safe in the dead of night as it is when you’re at your desk. 

Automate and Outsource: Customer Service

Your customer service team may be taking a break, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to leave customer enquiries hanging until they return. Of course, you can have a rotating roster that ensures someone is always in the office to handle customer communications. However, if you’d like to give everyone a week or two off over Christmas, it’s worth looking into Robotics Process Automation (RPA). 

Chatbots, for example, are a great way to cover basic customer enquiries without having to engage any of your employees. Once programmed and deployed on your website, an effective chatbot can fill customers in on everything from your opening hours to your shipping and returns policies. 

Even if you choose to keep some of your customer service team on board during the holiday season, a chatbot can relieve some of the pressure by taking care of straightforward customer questions. If you’re determined to give everyone a break, then you can bring outsourcing into the mix. 

A well-programmed chatbot can direct queries beyond basic information requests to your outsourced customer service department. That way, you can continue handling returns, exchanges, and other hands-on tasks, even if your entire in-house team is taking a break. 

Automate and Outsource: Social Media Management

If you’re not already using social media automation tools, the holiday season offers the perfect impetus to bring them into your business. Whether it’s you or an employee who handles your social media presence, these tools allow you to schedule posts ahead of time and in a way that’s optimised for engagement. 

Of course, there’s only so much you can automate. It’s all well and good to schedule posts, but it takes a human to reply to comments, respond to reviews, and answer any questions posted on your social media pages. So, to ensure you continue to grow and effectively leverage your social media presence over the holidays, it pays to outsource this task to a freelance social media manager.  

Automate: Invoice Processing

Invoice automation software and RPA bots can be a godsend during the busy holiday period. Whether you’ll be stepping away from your desk or not, accounts payable automation can take a massive amount of pressure off your shoulders, not just by taking over the task but also by completing it with far more precision than a human ever could. 

AP automation tools can help you track and manage invoices, avoid overpayments, and spot errors a human worker may otherwise miss. For example, if a client submits the same invoice twice, a stressed employee working over the holidays might miss the double-up and pay both invoices. However, an RPA bot never gets tired or annoyed that it has to work over Christmas. It’s also programmed to spot errors and anomalies every time, without fail. 

Outsource: Administrative Tasks

If, like many businesses, the holidays bring an uptick in activity, simple tasks like managing your schedule and returning phone calls may become far more complicated than usual. This is where a virtual assistant can save the day. By handing over tasks that are simple but overwhelming due to their sheer volume, you can maintain your same level of high-quality output, despite the extra pressures of the holiday season. 

When outsourcing, the golden rule is to hand over tasks that don’t require your special touch as a business owner or manager. By reducing your burden in this way, you can dedicate your time to high-value tasks that will strengthen your reputation and help your business grow. 

Outsource: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 

The last thing you want when you return from a relaxing break is to discover that your competitors have shot ahead of you in the search engine rankings. Slipping down even a few positions in Google’s search results can drastically impact your organic traffic and conversions. So, it’s crucial to keep your momentum up, even when you and your team are taking a break. 

A marketing agency that offers SEO services, or even a dedicated SEO agency, can help you in this endeavour. However, it’s crucial to be incredibly selective when handing your SEO strategy over to another company. While many people take an ethical approach to SEO, some agencies are downright shady, and their dodgy work can backfire on you if Google picks it up. So, be prepared to do plenty of research before outsourcing SEO, and opt for a reputable company with good reviews that gives you a clearly outlined, ethical proposal. 

Of all these tasks, IT support and cyber security are arguably the most important ones to cover while you’re on holiday. After all, a robust social media strategy won’t get you far if you’re hit by data breaches and customers lose faith in your stability as a business. If you’re interested in the 24/7 monitoring and uninterrupted security an MSP can provide, contact Invotec to discuss your options. We offer custom-designed packages to suit all businesses, and our IT consultants specialise in a broad range of industries. So, you’ll have support from experts who understand the unique requirements of your niche and business type. 

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