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Can SA business afford public holidays?

January 26, 2012 • Opinion

Just when you thought it was safe to return to business as usual following the December holiday shutdown, Easter started looming. So, business beware – from the middle of March and going through to the first week of May, there are 6 weeks containing public holidays.

Louise Robinson, Sales Director of CG Consulting (image: CG Consulting)

South Africans typically enjoy 13 paid public holidays a year. This, on the face of it, is comparable to other countries like the USA, France & Singapore. But can we afford it? According to Louise Robinson, Sales Director of CG Consulting, the answer is no.

“For struggling companies, these holidays are coming at completely the wrong time. But it’s not necessarily the staff who have taken leave in between the public holidays, or the unproductive staff who are wishing those days away, who will have the most impact on the economy. It’s the decision makers in business delaying awarding new contracts or confirming supplier agreements until after Easter who will stall growth,” she says.

So, as “Christmas part 2” descends on the country, all indicators point in the direction of a suffering economy and lowered productivity. While sitting out so many trading days is frustrating for those at the coalface hoping to keep sales going, the break provides a chance for progressive companies to invest their time wisely.

“Differing opinions over the impact of public holidays range from those frustrated with the disruption to others more prepared to concentrate on using the downtime for constructive development,” says Robinson. “There is no doubt that the public holidays and reduced working days will impact business, so why not start working ahead to make up for the lost time?”

She points out that forewarned is forearmed, and that effective planning now will help businesses avoid the lost revenue and associated frustrations that all of the downtime will invariably bring. And because the dates are set, companies around the country know exactly how much time they have to achieve their objectives.

“In this quieter time when customers are taking more leave, companies are presented with the rare opportunity to prepare, plan, and implement in advance,” she says. “Since time is of the essence, using partners will help them achieve their objectives.

For example, managing sales cycles and meeting targets is much easier to achieve through the support of a lead-generation company. When you’re working with reduced headcounts and budgets, when business is highly competitive, and when timing is everything, you need to understand not just how to prioritise, but also how to optimise the resources you have.”

An outsourced, outbound lead-generation company like CG Consulting provides companies with an efficient way to manage their business. In addition to providing accurate, up-to-date and relevant databases, a service provider like this saves businesses time and money by helping them build their pipelines by doing all of the drudge work.

“This type of solution offers companies a way to streamline their operations. Outsourcing to a specialist helps companies manage their supply chain, their customers, and their ongoing and future initiatives more cost-effectively. In the long term, this will benefit business because the efficiencies will remain long after the holidays have passed,” Robinson points out.

So while most companies accept that productivity and growth will be affected by the upcoming public holidays, this situation is not cast in stone. Foresight and effective planning can ensure that any business gets through this period without jeopardising their bottom line – with a little help from its outsourced friends.

CG Consulting

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