How to Keep Your Business on Track While You Go on Vacation

Created: Monday, September 9, 2019, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am



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By Gary Young, Equinox

As a small business owner you may find yourself covering while your team members are away and put off going on vacation yourself. You and your loved ones deserve time away together.  So, you need to stop yourself worrying about how your team will cope in your absence.  You can do this by using some of the many tech tools that are available.  Get them in place and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your vacation.

Why a Vacation Is Good for You and Your Business

Let’s be clear.  We want you to have a real break and not use technology to work in a hotel while your family and friends have fun without you.

Vacation Pier
Image: Pixabay

Here’s a reminder of why it is important that you have some time off from running your business:

Productivity

If you don’t take time off, exhaustion and stress build up. Overtime this will reduce your productivity. Time off will help to revitalize the body and refresh the mind. If you have a micro-business, you have to get used to the idea that there is never a perfect time to go on holiday, but it is still something you need to do.

Handover

Very often business owners have an issue with delegating.  Think of a holiday handover as a chance to check how your team perform without you, and with some new responsibilities.  There are tools to help manage this, if you team are facing a situation that they aren’t sure how to tackle, they’ll know how to reach you.

Maintenance

Getting away is like having a car serviced or getting a piano tuned. It’s about maintenance so that you can continue delivering a great product or service to your clients.

Family-time

When you own your own business, you make the rules. These should include allocating family-time, especially holidays. Your kids grow up fast and you don’t want to miss the pre-teen years when they want to spend their holidays with you!

The Tools to Use in Your Small Business

Mobile Phone

When you’re at home, your phone is probably immediately at hand – always. We hope when you’re on holiday you might occasionally turn it off or decide to check it regularly without it dominating your time.

Make clear to your team that you should only be contacted in an emergency. Tell clients, when you will be away, and which team member should ideally be their first port of call.  You may also choose to say that they can contact you if necessary. However, with your team doing a fabulous job this shouldn’t prove necessary

Your phone also gives you an invaluable tether to the internet. You’ll need this if your holiday destination doesn’t have WiFi available (or you are cyber-security conscious). For the time being data plans travel with you across Europe.  They can also be changed easily to include other parts of the world.  This usually involves a per day fee from your mobile provider.

Productivity and Focus Tools

If there is no escape from doing some work while you are away, make sure you organize yourself to have short bursts of concentrated and productive time.

Focus tools such as the Quickstarter POD are, effectively, timers to help you concentrate on one thing at a time.

If you feel a need to go cold turkey you can use Cold Turkey Blocker. You can lock yourself out of your PC or Mac for a specific period of time – or if they catch on your family might do this for you.

Another app to help maintain productivity when you are doing a burst of work is RescueTime.  Once we get online, it’s all too easy to be distracted off to blogs, forums and social media sites that then consume time at a rapid rate. RescueTime will keep you focused.

Project Management Apps

Products such as Basecamp, Trello, and Microsoft Teams are being used increasingly. At work they are invaluable for keeping you aware of what is happening and what work needs prioritising on a daily basis.

When you’re on holiday, large numbers of notifications and emails from project management systems can become irritating. You can adjust the settings so that you receive notifications say twice a day. Or switch them off all together!

Simple Outsourcing

When you are away, of course the office phone will keep ringing, and your marketing activities need to continue without a break.

There are companies such as Answer who will cover your phones – charging as little as 90p per call. They text and email you or a member of your team so that one of you can respond as needed. Similarly Virtual Marketing companies can keep your marketing activity flowing, unless your business has  something like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule activity before you depart.

The tools are there for you.  Make use of them in your small business. You can then enjoy a relaxing break and come back to your business refreshed.


Gary Young
Gary Young is Director of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox. Gary works with companies, charities, and other organizations to help them choose the right telecoms packages for their needs and thereby reduce their costs. He is particularly knowledgeable on the integration of IT and telecoms in business.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.


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