Keep your Small Business Afloat on Vacation Posted on July 17, 2017 (April 6, 2018) by Sarah Merciez Small Business Hacks for Your Getaway We work with many small businesses and individual professionals. It can be a real challenge to keep your business running smoothly while you’re sailing away enjoying the summer time. Here are our hottest tips and hacks for taking time off without too much strain on your business. 1) Have (or hire) a wingman. By far the best strategy to keeping your business running smoothly while you’re gone is to let someone else do it! If you have any employees, don’t hesitate to brief them on the essential functions of your role. Then jet off to your vacation and leave the office behind. No employees? Just you? Consider entrusting (and compensating) another professional if you really want to be able to get away and unplug. Check with your current local business partners in related industries, or even consider hiring a virtual assistant to keep up on communication and relay urgent issues to you. 2) Schedule short check-ins. Especially for trips longer than a couple days, plan on twenty minutes every few days to check on things. Set a reasonable time limit so you don’t end up behind a glowing laptop instead of enjoying a breathtaking star-studded sky. Make sure you check in advance that your accommodations have reasonable wifi access. Plan on maintaining only the essential business communication remotely. 3) If you communicate, think about how. It’s happened to everyone. You shoot off a quick text while busy with something else. But then, the person replies with a question or misunderstands your message. You reply. They reply. Suddenly, it’s twenty minutes later and you’ve barely said anything. When you are communicating with the office or clients from vacation, think strategically about your mode of communication. Sometimes a two-minute call can save you 4 emails back and forth. Got a chatty client? Send one clear, well-thought-out email and state that you’re “signing off” at the end. 4) Automate, automate, automate! One of our best tips is actually great even when you’re not out of the office. Setting up some email automation through your MailChimp account can help you get basic details and tips out to your clients without being directly involved. For example, you can set up a series of educational emails that automatically send themselves out at pre-set intervals after a list signup. You can use this to offer a useful free resource to people sign up for your emails. Is expertise your service? Use this to build credibility and bring people up to speed. You can also automate your blog posts. Write a few in advance and schedule them to be sent out at specific times and days. You don’t need to stick around to hit the post button. Free yourself up to enjoy your time away. 5) Communicate on the front end. Everyone needs time away! Communicate clearly with clients and employees when you will and won’t be in touch. Don’t be afraid to unplug! True emergencies are probably less common than you think. When you take time for yourself and rest, you return refreshed and work better. Set up an out of office message on your email and phone. In your email, include how and where to direct emergency requests. Give people an idea of what they can expect for non-emergency requests. Better yet – use an email alias for your requests. You can use generic emails like sales@ or info@ to direct requests by category – meaning that when vacation comes, you can easily redirect the alias to your aforementioned wingman without having to communicate a new contact. How do you stay cool and collected, even when you’re away? Leave us your suggestion in the comments below.