How to Prepare to Take a Vacation While Running a Business
We all know that vacations are important for relieving stress, better job production and better health overall, but what about the boss? Can you take a vacation while you are running the business? Of course you can! It is all about the systems you put in place. Consider the following strategies.
1. Plan Ahead.
Is there a slow period for your business? Maybe you have seasonal work or the holidays are crunch time for your business. The slow periods in between would be the best opportunity for a business owner to take a vacation.
Once you know about when you are taking your vacation, start preparing your staff. The further in advance you all know, the more time you all have to plan.
2. Choose Your Representative.
If you are gone, who can best represent your business? Remember, this person must be a trusted employee who is ready to represent your business to clients and customers, but also to fellow employees. This must also be a person you trust completely to make decisions on your behalf.
If you have a second in command in place, this will make for a smoother transition and give you peace of mind while you are out. Be sure to go over routines as well as unexpected tasks with the most relevant procedures.
Make sure to clearly communicate who will be stepping in on your behalf to your staff. This is to help you avoid any unnecessary interruptions from employees while trying to enjoy your vacation. For the same reasons, you may also wish to tell any important clients or customers who your stand in will be.
3. Manage Your Expectations and Make Them Clear.
What is the responsibility of your representative? What do you expect from the rest of your staff while you are out of town? Will you be completely unavailable while on vacation, or do you still want to be kept in the loop? How often? What do you consider “an emergency?”
Be sure you can answer all of these questions and others, and more importantly, communicate them to your staff. You will also need to answer any additional questions they may have. The more information your staff have upfront, the fewer problems will come up in your absence.
4. Prepare for Anything.
What if? What if payroll does not run through properly and no one is there to sign checks? What if the internet goes down at your place of business? What if a client is unhappy with the product and demands to speak to you, and you are not there?
Murphy’s Law states, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This may be true, but if you have prepared for the worst, you can expect far fewer worries. So, while you may already have procedures in place for most problems, just give it a second thought. Is there something you may have forgotten that can be addressed now? If so, address it! After all, vacations are supposed to help with stress, not add to it.
5. Manage Your Workload and Keep in Touch.
Do you have bills that just have not been paid yet? Emails that need to be answered? Invoices to approve? Take care of it all now, before your vacation. This way, you have nothing creeping up in the back of your mind giving you worry. This will also ensure a lighter workload when you return, instead of piling more work on to your already unfinished load.
You may also choose to check in on your business remotely while on vacation. If so, plan ahead. Will you have secure wifi or access to a computer? Checking emails can keep you in the know, but if you have prepared well, you should not need to respond quickly. Be sure to only allow yourself an allotted amount of time to check in. Setting boundaries for yourself can help you actually relax on your vacation.
6. Be Available When Necessary.
As a business owner, you understand that you can never truly disconnect from your business. If you are planning on having only the essential amount of communication with your staff, be sure to have a plan in place for them to get in contact with you in case of an emergency. While you trust your employees to handle most of the business, there are times when it is necessary for you to handle the situation.
7. Enjoy Your Vacation!
All of the planning and systems you put in place will help ensure that you can finally enjoy your vacation. You deserve a time to relax and rejuvenate, so do just that.
If you need help with any of these steps or would like more advice on how to plan a vacation while running a business, contact Exceptional Services Agency today.