As I get ready to take 2 weeks off it occurred to me that there are a few things that I do every time I take time off to make sure that I don’t need to stress or worry about whether things will run smoothly while I am away from the business.
There is nothing worse than planning to take some time off and then to keep checking on things while you do. Or worse..not taking time off at all because you are afraid of not being there to deal with things that come up.
That’s why you need to set everything up for success before you head off for that well earned break.
It’s interesting really as I have both types of business and so have experience of leaving both business for a few weeks at a time.
Solo Business Owner
As a solo business owner you actually have less to do really. You just need to let people know you are off, make sure you put an out of office on and head away.
If you have decided as the sole owner of the business you are not going to be around for 2 weeks then just let everyone know and don’t be tempted to check your emails while you are off!
Everything will wait until you get back if you have been upfront with people. The key is to make sure people know.
Business Owner with Staff
If you have staff there are more processes and procedures that need to be in place when you take time off as there are more people involved and your business will be running without you there, rather than you closing it down.
So here is my check list…feel free to comment below if there is anything I have missed.
#1 Does everyone know what they are doing
Is your business structured so that everyone can easily see what they are doing, for example do you have software where they can see the jobs on their schedule for the time you are away?
Do you have an office manager – or do you need to promote someone to that position while you are away? Do they know what their role is? If they are new you will want to train them in taking calls and bookings.
#2 Does everyone have what they need
Does everyone have the keys for the clients they are looking after? If you give your staff supplies, such as poo bags, do they have enough? Is there someone that can get those things for them if they need them?
#3 Are there systems in place for an emergency
What happens if someone get sick and can’t carry out their schedule – who do they tell? Who will be responsible for covering for them?
What if there is a complaint? Do you have a system for that? How should it be handled?
#4 Are you taking new bookings
Are you planning to have someone taking calls and bookings, or just manage the bookings that you have before you leave and not take on new clients?
If you promote someone to stand in as Office Manager are they able to cope, need extra training etc.
Make sure whatever you decide the customer still gets the same awesome service when they call you.
#5 Are there any payments to process or make
If you manually process client payments then is there someone that can do that in your absence? Are any of your staff due payments while you are away – if so consider doing them early.
#6 Keep It Simple
Make sure all your systems are nice and simple so that your staff can follow them in your absence. Try to promote someone to be a point of contact for everyone – so that you don’t have to keep checking in with everyone.
And have fun!
Note – if you are taking time off at Christmas then I recommend turning off any scheduled Facebook posts and Tweets on those few days. Instead post fun Christmas pictures and information. I personally feel it looks very spammy to be promoting your services on Christmas day when people want to catch up with friends and family during the holidays.
There is no point owning a business if you can’t take time off. And sometimes your free of leaving your business is more about you, and your need for control, than the ability of the people that you have working for you!