5 tips for managing your business during a vacation
If you're like most other business owners, you probably worry that the business will fall apart if you're not there for a few days.
All work and no play will do more than just make you dull though. It can have a negative impact on your health, relationships and sanity. And none of those things are good for business!
Taking a break will help to recharge your batteries, plus can give you more energy and a new clarity that can actually help to improve your business.
The key to a successful vacation is proper planning and preparation before you leave.
Tip 1 — Inform customers and suppliers
Make sure you let everyone know that you're taking a break and what steps you've put in place in case they have problems while you're away. You should include this information in as many places as possible, for example:
- Special Christmas email/newsletter
- Web sites, blog and social media
- Email signatures
- December invoices
- Christmas cards
Tip 2 — Decide how to keep in touch
If you're lucky, there's someone you trust who can run the business for you while you're gone.
If not, you should consider some outsourcing options. Nothing too expensive though—you still need to be able to afford that holiday!
For example, you can get someone to answer your phones from just $29 a month, and then send messages through to you by email and SMS.
And if you're travelling with your smartphone, you can keep an eye on any email while you’re away too.
That gives you the ability to respond to any urgent issues quickly, and schedule everything else for when you're back in the office.
Tip 3 — Set a STRICT business schedule
Even though you know that it's good for you to escape everything for a week (or two), the reality is that you're probably going to want to keep an eye on things while you're away.
You need to set yourself a schedule—and you need to stick to it!
Decide how often to check your messages (maybe once in the early morning and once in the late afternoon), and set yourself strict time limits as to how long you are going to spend.
Respond ONLY to urgent issues. Your customers already know you're on a break, so everything else can wait until you're back in the office.
Tip 4 — Get your business vacation-ready
Plan things properly so that your business is ready for you to take a break:
- Finish all of the jobs you're able to finish.
- For anything that's unfinished, set realistic expectations as to when clients/suppliers can expect the job to be done.
- Clean up your email by doing things like temporarily unsubscribing from mailing lists. You want to reduce distractions if you are going to check emails while you're away.
- If required, set up out-of-office greetings for your email/phone so that anyone contacting you knows that you're out of the office.
The more planning you do before your break, the more you can relax while you’re away!
Tip 5 — Don't apologise
Some business owners feel guilty when they take time off. You should stop it right now if you fall into that category!
We all need time off to enjoy with friends and family, and to relax, recharge and refocus.
And you’ll return to work with a fresh perspective, ready to take on more challenges and be more efficient than before.