Hellbent Blog

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Our blog is a lighthearted commentary on running an SME in the field of engineering.

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Shutdown - Anyone for Ale?

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For the first time since we started the business in 2009, we shut our doors for a whole week (and a day) and went off on a long anticipated family holiday.  We began warning customers we were going to 'shutdown' two months before we had even booked/confirmed the dates.  We picked a three week period and informed anyone and everyone that we would be shutting for a week somewhere during that time and crossed our fingers.  Hats off to our customers - they all got their orders in on time, they all knew when shutdown was and we comfortably managed to supply everything everyone required prior to finishing. 

We did have a moment of uncertainty a few days into our holiday whilst relaxing on the beautiful Alcudia beach in Majorca, when one of the chaps from one of our biggest customers started placing orders.  Had they forgotten?  Had they got the dates wrong and thought we were back already?  (Not a chance - it was only day 3!) But on sending a swift, polite email informing said customer that we would respond immediately on our return, we were instructed to 'switch off our phones and stop reading emails until we returned'.  Oh and that there had been frost that morning in East Anglia...  Well - you can't say fairer than that.  Although the phones stayed on just in case 19 year old son (who opted for the money option over the holiday and stayed home), decided to throw the party to end all parties in our lovely house.  Shock horror - it was all fine.  Thank goodness.

So - we have decided 'shutdown' will be an annual occurrence from now on.  With a bit of forward planning and with the blessing and help of our fabulous customers it was a winner all round.  And October worked rather well which July/August could never do (see our last blog post - Best Month Ever).

And shocking as it will sound to anyone who knows Logan - he threw caution to the wind, took his shoes off and got sand between his toes.  Not just once either. AND in the absence of ale or bitter he even drank lager.  Enough said!

Sally-Ann

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