Ah, September in Israel: that wonderful time when parents rejoice at the idea of sending their little cherubs back to school, only to remember… dun dun dun… it’s “The Chagim”! Imagine preparing for a 22-day festive marathon, complete with blowing shofars, fasting (why, oh why?), and building your very own backyard hut for Sukkot (some assembly required).
So, whether you’re in the Holy Land or doing business from afar, brace yourselves. This isn’t just any ol’ holiday season. Here’s your quick and quirky guide to navigating the business waters (which might be parting, depending on where you stand):
Here are some recommendations for Israeli companies and those who conduct business with them:
For Israeli Companies:
- Plan Ahead: As many businesses close or operate at reduced hours during the chagim, plan your activities, launches, and major projects around this season. Ensure there’s buffer time before and after the holidays.
- Flexibility: Provide employees with flexible working hours or the option to work remotely. This caters to those who observe the holidays and need to make preparations or travel to be with family.
- Clear Communication: Clearly communicate with your clients, suppliers, and partners about your operational status during the chagim. Set expectations so that there are no surprises.
- Backup Plan: For businesses that need to remain operational, have a backup team or reduced staffing strategy to ensure continuity.
- Seasonal Offers: Embrace the festive season by offering special deals or promotions related to the holidays. This can help boost sales in the lead-up to the chagim.
For Israeli Companies Doing Business Abroad:
- Cultural Awareness: Just as you’d expect partners to understand your holiday commitments, make an effort to understand theirs. This mutual respect can solidify business relationships.
- Clear Calendar Sharing: Use shared calendars to mark the days you’ll be unavailable. This will help international partners know when not to schedule meetings or expect deliverables.
- Automated Messages: Set up automated email responses and voicemail messages indicating that you’re out for the holiday and providing a date of return. This manages expectations for response times.
- Delegate: If possible, delegate certain tasks or responsibilities to team members who may not observe the holidays, ensuring that the business continues to run smoothly.
- Plan Meetings Appropriately: Try not to schedule critical meetings right before or immediately after the holidays. Recovery and catch-up periods are beneficial for both sides.
For Companies Abroad Doing Business with Israeli Firms:
- Research the Holiday Calendar: Familiarize yourself with the dates and significance of the Jewish holidays. This shows respect and consideration.
- Adjust Expectations: Understand that response times might be slower or certain services might be paused during this period.
- Extend Greetings: A simple holiday greeting can go a long way in fostering goodwill. Even a brief message acknowledging the season can be appreciated.
- Be Patient and Flexible: If a project gets delayed because of the holidays, show understanding and adjust timelines accordingly.