My current situation = in a packed to the brim van with hubby, 3 kiddos, 2 dogs, and all the various items needed for a trip to the beach.
Summer vacay at it’s finest ya’ll.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … we’re pretty much going on a TRIP, not a vacation. (Fellow parents, I know you feel me!), but I won’t let that dampen the excitement!
One thing I do miss from my pre-entrepreneur days, is the zero prep-work that went into getting ready for a trip away, other than the personal packing.
Now the laundry list of items to take care of to make sure the business runs smoothly (with as little interaction from me as possible) can stretch a bit long.
I’ve had people question me about this before … how do I “step away” when I run two businesses?
So I thought it might be fun to take a look at my pre-vacation business prep routine to give you some ideas.
1. Turn on those auto-responders!
Before I leave on vacation I always set up my email accounts AND any contact forms on my website so that people receive an automated email in response to any inquiry. Basically it says I’m away for XX dates, if you’re a paid client you’re our first priority for a response, and links to any other resources that might be helpful to them in the meantime (a booking calendar, etc.)
2. Set expectations for your availability and communicate them.
I personally am OK with responding to emails if needed while I’m away on vacation. But I’m not OK with taking or returning phone calls (for my local business). So on the voicemail recording I’m very clear that we are “out of office” and any voicemails received will receive a return call on XX date (normally 2 days after I return … give yourself a little breathing room!). I also encourage them to send an email instead for a quicker response.
3. Check in with your team members in advance.
Before leaving out of town, I review each team member’s responsibilities and schedule with them for the time that I’m away. This gives them a chance to ask any questions or catch something that they need to know from me that I may have not thought of. This helps to avoid “emergency” communications with you while you’re away as much as possible.
4. Set up a contingency plan.
What needs to happen in a true emergency, worst-case scenario in your business if it happens while you’re away? (this will apply to some businesses more than others). I always make sure that one team member is responsible for “running point” in this scenario and that all other people involved have their contact info too.
5. Set your own boundaries (and that might not be “cold turkey”).
When I go on vacation I personally like to delete the majority of social media apps from my phone, turn off all notifications, and avoid checking email except at set times during the day. It’s a chance for me to be more present and detox a bit from the internet life.
BUT I’ve found that setting an expectation of absolutely no social media, no email, no phone, etc. is unrealistic for me, and honestly would stress me out more. It’s all about taking a mini-step that is right for you. Maybe you’ll check in AM and PM each day, or some different schedule. I think it’s more important to reduce in a way that feels right to you.
That’s pretty much it. And then I cross my fingers and hope that everything goes swimmingly while I’m away. ;)
Helpful? Got questions? Feel free to reply back and you’ll get my auto-responder. Haha!
(But of course I’ll get back with you when I return).
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