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Level 5

4 Tips for Taking a Vacation Without Putting Your Business on Hold

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You’ve been burning the candle as a small business owner at both ends for weeks, months, maybe even years now. However long you’ve been dedicating days, nights and weekends to building and growing your business, you deserve a vacation. Question is, how do you give yourself a much-needed break without undermining all your tireless efforts by putting your business on hold?

 

We’ve got four tips to help you kick back and relax while things at work stay right on track.

 

1. Plan ahead for being OOO (out of office). If you’re still scrambling en route to the airport to fill orders, communicate with employees, finish a project or pay bills, you’re going to have a hard time disconnecting mentally and emotionally while you’re on vacation. Instead, think ahead – way ahead, if necessary -- both about what needs to happen and who, specifically, will make it happen in your absence. Advance planning will help you relax, unwind and recharge – and isn’t that the whole point of a vacation?

 

2. Communicate with all and sundry. Obviously, your employees need to know when you’ll be away, for how long and who they can reach out to in your stead. So do your customers, your vendors and your suppliers. If you name a point person (see below) to engage or follow up with customers or your other key relationships, consider introducing them to each other before you depart so everyone knows who’s who and what the communication process will be.

 

3. Leave things in trusted hands. Delegate a point-person to stand in for you when you’re soaking up the sun or exploring ancient ruins. Obviously, this person must know the business as well as you do (or almost), and he or she must be willing and able to communicate with everyone from employees and clients to vendors and suppliers in your absence. Whether you check in while you’re away or plan for a debrief when you’re back, this person also will apprise you of everything that happened while you were OOO.

 

4. Automate everything you can. You probably don’t need a reminder to change your voicemail and your out-of-office email response to alert folks to how long you’ll be gone and how to reach the right person in the meantime. But here are other key “engagements” you should also consider automating:

 

  • Your finances. If you can’t prepay bills that will come due while you’re away, make sure you’ve automated payments so the lights stay on. It may be prudent to give your go-to person access to small amounts of cash or your business credit (with an agreed-upon limit) in case something unforeseen or urgent comes up.
  • Your blogs, emails and newsletters. If your marketing strategy includes regular communications with customers, don’t let your holiday interrupt the flow. As long as you’ve planned ahead (see point #1!), you can create and pre-schedule all of your announcements or messages so clients hear from you in the timeframe they’ve come to expect.
  • Your social media posts. There’s no need for radio silence on your social platforms when you’re out of town. You can pre-schedule your posts and Tweets and keep your social pages current without lifting a finger during your holiday. Another option? Invite a guest blogger or Tweeter to stand in for you while you’re away.

 

You’ve worked hard to build and grow your brand. Consistently keeping up with your deadlines, your bills and your marketing and communications helps cement your reputation as a business people can rely on. When you successfully keep things on track even when you’re getting a much-needed break, your business gets an even bigger boost.

 

Find more tips about taking a vacation while your business keeps working here.

 

Before you go

QB Community members, whether you’re planning to take some time off or you’ve just returned from vacation, please tell us your tips for have a stress-free break!

 

Not yet a member? No problem. Just click HERE to sign up in a flash. Then browse around and weigh in on questions like this one!

2 Comments
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Level 7

4 Tips for Taking a Vacation Without Putting Your Business on Hold

Self-care is huge - ESPECIALLY for those of us who are our own bosses. I've found that scheduling a few long weekends rather than taking an entire week off helps me relax and recharge without having to scramble for longer-term coverage. It's not quite the same as "full vacation mode," but I tend to stress less about what could go wrong while I'm away.

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Level 7

4 Tips for Taking a Vacation Without Putting Your Business on Hold

Hey @Anonymous - welcome to QB Community!

 

Got any plans for vacation this summer? What's your best strategy for keeping your business running while you get some much-deserved R and R?

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