With summer in full swing many people are thinking about getting out and exploring new lands or just finding some downtime to relax. If you are like one of several other entrepreneurs though, the idea of taking some downtime may seem a little daunting. Without the security of paid time off, and other benefits that many employees enjoy when thinking of jet-setting for a week or two, the business owner has to often go it alone, which can be a scary prospect. The fact is, you may feel like you can’t actually take time off, but the reality is you can and you really should! Taking time off is good for the soul and is good for your business too, as you will be able to recharge and get ready to focus on your business when you return. Read on for tips on getting out of town when you own your own online business!
The key is in planning ahead and letting the right people know that you are going to be away. That means checking in with wholesalers that you might sell to on a regular basis and letting them know the dates that you are planning to be out of town, so that they can plan for any orders they would like to place ahead of time. When it comes to online retail orders, it makes sense to add a note to your shop that states the dates you will be unavailable to ship orders and let customers know that they need to order by a certain date to get their order shipped before you leave.
The auto responder is going to be your best friend—You don’t need to wait until you out the door to set up an auto responder letting people know that you will be out of town. If you set it up 30 days in advance, it will give customers plenty of advance warning that you will be taking some time away. You can also set up a custom signature in your email that highlights the dates you plan to be away well in advance.
If you have employees then it won’t be quite as hard to get out the door, since you can delegate the day-to-day operations of your business to those that will still be hard at work. If you are a soloprenuer and are doing this business completely on your own, it might make sense to find an intern or even a friend that can respond to inquiries that might come in while you are away, or deal with pressing customer service needs that you may be afraid will come up while you are gone. By having a team in place you can rest assured that your vacation will run smoothly and so will your business.
Plan to leave during a slow season
Depending on what it is that you do, there are usually different times of year that are extremely busy and those that are a little slower. By planning your vacation during one of the slower seasons for your industry, you should be able to save a little stress about being away.
Be present to those you are on vacation with
A vacation really isn’t a vacation if you don’t actually get away! As much as you will be tempted, try not to look at your phone or email too often. Nothing will take you out of the carefree vacation spirit like a disgruntled customer email, or a supplier contacting you about a problem with your recent order. If you have delegated customer service issues out to someone else, you can have an agreement with them that they will call you if and only if there is a matter that absolutely must be dealt with by you and you alone while you are gone. That way, you can feel confident that if you really are needed, you will be reached, but likely you will end up being able to recharge your batteries, enjoy some much needed rest, and come back ready to rock!
Just in case after reading this you come to the conclusion that getting a vacation scheduled will be too much work to make it worth your while, keep in mind that getting away from work is a very healthy thing to do! Vacations can help you reduce stress, help you focus, and will help you come back refreshed and ready to take on the business world! Don’t get stuck in the rut of working around the clock and never taking a break. Even if you can only manage to schedule a couple days away (or just a couple days home but away from your business) do so every once in a while!