Do you have a summer vacation on this books this year? I just got back from spending ten days on the East Coast exploring Maine, Boston, The Berkshires, and SW Vermont. When I mentioned to fellow solopreuers, I would be taking a vacation for ten days; I could see the panic on their faces. The most often asked question was "How will you pull this off?"
Simple .. planning, and communication. It's not impossible to take time off; in fact, it's healthy for your businesses and yourself to step away from the daily grind and refresh. Too many of you are burning out, and that's no good.
Here are some critical elements to making my vacation a success:
1) I had to work ahead, which meant, I had to work on days off, evenings.
Since my business is service-based, and I manage digital marketing for various clients, I had to get their web and social content plans done early for approval and scheduling before I left for my trip. This meant communication in May with them some revised deadlines for June.
2) Communication is vital.
When I on-board strategy clients, they are aware that I take breaks several times a year. Two weeks in the summer, one week at Thanksgiving, two weeks around the Christmas holiday and random breaks may also pop-up (conferences, family events, etc). I assure them that during those breaks they can email me, but there might be a delay. As I mentioned, in May, I let clients know of a revised deadline schedule for their July web/social content and then reminded them at the beginning of June.
3) Find someone to fill in for me.
For my coaching clients, we'll either double up on sessions OR I'll pull in guest speakers to handle topics while I'm out. I also have an assistant working with me around 15 hours a month and will delegate some tasks to her during this time. Last year, I didn’t have this luxury BUT I was able to take off my planned times off in 2018 by working ahead.
4) Put up an out of office response.
No brainer. Communicate when you'll be out and your response rate. I can do mostly everything on my iPhone, but I also take my laptop too. That's the reality I live in now, so I do have to take my computer just in case. This time around, I didn't have any major fires to put out and if a client did contact me, I was able to get back to them during my downtime.
5) Give yourself some buffer.
I block my calendar two days before I leave and two days upon return. This time around, I didn't get back until the afternoon of July 2 during a holiday week which meant I couldn't do much of anything until July 5 so I extended my out of office until the following Monday.
The next time you're heading out for some R&R, which one of these tips do you need to focus on to make your time memorable and worry-free for your business? I'd also love to hear some of your stress-free vacation tips too!