August 11, 2016
The summer means it’s vacation time. Time to get away and enjoy sun and summer fun.
But when you are a business owner, the thought of leaving your business can be stressful. I know it took me several years before I allowed myself the opportunity to truly take time off for some badly needed respite.
When you are on holiday, you should be able to unwind… not sit and worry about lost productivity and things falling through the cracks.
So how can you ensure your business will run smoothly while you’re gone?
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to help keep your business humming along while you get some needed rest and relaxation:
1. Mark it Down.
As soon as you decide on your vacation time off, put it on your personal and company calendar.
This not only solidifies your commitment to take time away from business but will also help you plan projects and meetings around your vacation time.
Plus it allows you to get things done early before you leave so there’s not a backlog when you return.
2. Notify Your Clients.
Send a note letting your clients know you’ll be out of the office and when you’ll return. Leave the contact of a key staff member they can reach in case of emergency.
I use social media and our weekly newsletters to help with this task. For clients that I’m working closely with at the time, I ensure they get a personal e-mail as well.
3. Set Up an Autoresponder.
Create an e-mail autoresponder that let’s people know you are on holiday so they don’t expect an immediate reply.
4. Put Someone in Charge.
Assign someone to check your e-mails and keep the ship running while you are gone. I have one of our team members take care of this for me and it’s a huge relief knowing our clients’ needs are being taken care of while I’m away.
Make sure this person has the rest of the team’s contact information so anything that comes up can be handled.
Let every team member know what they are responsible for and have access to key documents and passwords before you leave.
5. Write a To-Do List.
Create a list of ongoing projects and deadlines that must be met while you are gone so your team can keep things rolling.
Also make a list for yourself so you can quickly orientate yourself and get back to speed upon return from your vacation.
6. Automate Your Marketing.
Just because you are gone, doesn’t mean your marketing has to stop. Preschedule your social media posts plus write and schedule your newsletter to go out ahead of time.
Keeping consistent with your marketing is really important to business success and going on vacation shouldn’t be a reason to break this consistency.
7. Stay Connected.
Make sure you’ll have phone or Internet access if you need it. Even though my team is amazing, there are times when they need my input before they can take care of an urgent matter. I try to do a check-in once a day to ensure nothing is being held up due to my absence.
So tell your team how often, and how you plan to check in. That way they know to keep a list and share all urgent items during your daily check in.
Also, check your cellphone coverage to make sure you won’t incur costly roaming charges. When I went to New York recently, I was able to get a different package that included international calling and texting for only an additional $5 a day.
8. Enjoy Your Vacation.
It’s a scary thought to let go and truly check out while on vacation. Horror stories will dance in your head about how everything will fall apart if you’re not there.
This simply isn’t true — taking a vacation means trusting your team and respecting their abilities so you can take your well-deserved break with peace of mind.
So even though you will be tempted to check your e-mails every hour and call in to see how things are going, don’t. Trust your team and don’t be tempted to man the office from the beach.
Taking this time away is vital to your health and well-being so when you return, you are refreshed, energized and ready to infuse new life into your business!
So what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy a little get-away without worrying about your business.
I hope these tips make planning for your next vacation easier. So unplug, relax, and renew. You’ll come back energized and ready to tackle the world again.
As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River's University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General's Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca