Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Festivus, the holiday list goes on. With all of the holidays in December, it’s no surprise that many business owners, and employees, save their vacation time for some much needed R&R. But you don’t want to come back from vacation with angry clients or customers. So before you turn down the lights and close up shop, here are five things you should do before going on vacation. #1: Notify your customers in advance, and contact them about existing projects or orders. If you plan on taking a long break away from the business, let your employees and customers know well in advance. And if you have a long-term project or order, be sure your customer knows the status of the job, and when you plan on returning to finish. #2: Give your clients an alternative contact. Not everyone takes vacation time during December. If you have a business partner, or coworker who will be in the office, be sure your customers can reach them directly if they will need assistance while you’re gone. Also consider putting their contact info on your email vacation responder, and on your voicemail. Speaking of which.. #3: Enable your vacation reminders. Be sure you set an automatic email response, and change your voicemail letting your current and potential customers know you’re on vacation, and a date for your return. This is especially important for businesses in the service industry who perform emergency services, such as plumbers and tree trimmers. Leave a secondary email address or phone number if you want your customers to be able to reach you in case of emergencies. #4: Consider putting a notice on your website. If you own a business takes orders online, and they may be delayed due to the holidays, be sure to let your customers know by placing an alert on your website. Federal law requires a business to ship an item within the timeframe stated on the ad or website, and if no timeframe is given, the business must ship the merchandise within 30 days. Click here to learn more about the FTC’s Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule. #5: Check your calendar. Do you have any appointments that need to be rescheduled? What about payments that need to be made, or events you can’t attend? Be sure to check, and double-check your calendar!And last, but most definitely not least - enjoy!