Welcome to the 2nd part of this series all abotu keeping your business going and growing during the summer.
Running Your Business While on Vacation
It’s been reported that at least 60 percent of all small business owners don’t take a vacation each year. And of those who do, 75 percent still did some sort of work every day during their “vacations.” In fact, according to a survey commissioned by Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart, nearly 50 percent of small-business owners take only major holidays off – or no holidays at all.
These numbers are higher for home-based business solopreneurs who have no one to toss the reigns to while they take a break. It’s a challenge to take time away from your business when you know that if you aren’t working, you aren’t earning money.
But taking time off allows you to recharge your energy levels so that you don’t burn out. The summer slow-down time is the perfect time to do this. Here are some tips to manage your work and time while you take time to have some fun.
This means setting up a schedule on your calendar for when you will be away, so you can get projects done ahead of that time. Let clients know when you’ll be away and have them schedule what they need prior to or after this time.
For example, if you are going to be gone for a week in July, have all your projects finished the week before you leave. Don’t try to fit 3 days’ work into the day before you leave. Give yourself time to fit in all the activities you need to get done.
Set up systems and tools.
Almost all businesses have tasks they can automate. Marketing efforts can be maintained with various tools. For example, social media posts can be scheduled with tools like HootSuite. Blog posts can be written in advance and scheduled to post later in WordPress. Autoresponder systems like Aweber.com allow you to schedule your email message updates, so set up one that answers common questions you receive. Be sure to add a note that questions will be responded to personally after you return (unless you have a virtual assistant who can take care of them).
Virtual Assistant/Online Manager.
Hire a virtual assistant to take the reins while you’re away. They can take care of your emails, update posts or whatever you need them to do while you’re away. They can work as your project manager as well, keeping your projects moving forward. They can even help you in planning and setting up tools and systems.
Even if you have a virtual assistant to manage your business, you can outsource many other tasks, such as writing, graphic work or blog maintenance.
Take care of maintenance only.
While on vacation, make it a point to only check in once in a while. Do the very minimum to keep your business going, such as checking your email once a day and quickly checking in with your virtual assistant a couple of times.
Let clients know you will be away from the business. Be upfront with them so they can get work to you ahead of time if they need to. Letting them know your schedule demonstrates that you value them and respect their business.
Just because you own a business doesn’t mean you can’t take time off for relaxation and rejuvenation. Using the tools and systems available online can help you keep your business from falling into a slump while you are away. You can continue to market your business with help from a virtual assistant. And you can keep your relationship with clients on good terms by informing them of your plans well in advance. What are your best tips for keeping your business hopping during the summer? Post them and your questions below. Stay tuned for part 3 in this series.…