Small firms keep their doors open during silly season

FOR every two Fraser Coast businesses that chose to take a break over Christmas and new year's, one kept their doors open to get ahead, new research has shown.

Regional businesses were also more likely to stay open for Christmas than their city counterparts in an effort to counteract slumped productivity over summer.

The research by Telstra showed only 16% of small and medium sized regional business had a plan in place to account the slump, which affects about 31% of businesses.

It also showed a break was a nervous option for one in four small business owners who feared potential losses.

Telstra spokesman John Boniciolli said this time of year was uniquely challenging for small businesses.

He said there are a number of initiatives for business owners to maintain business momentum during summer months.

"Flexible working hours are great for those who have kids at home during the break or are travelling," he said.

"Reduced office hours and time off in lieu are good incentives for attracting volunteers to work through the break.

"Christmas or end-of-year bonuses can also be used to show employees the value and appreciation for their work during this time."

The survey also showed smart technology such as video conferencing, working remotely and smart phones helped to give a better work/balance for small business owners.

About 50% of respondents reported being happy with their work/life balance.