15 Nov How can a solopreneur go on an extended vacation? Part II: The Business Side
As mentioned in my previous post on the subject, getting ready for your vacation on the personal side is fairly easy. But getting things ready on the business side takes a fair amount of thinking and planning. Your vacation set-up for your business will depend on your industry, business model and how long you’ll be gone. While each solopreneur’s set-up will be individual, in a nutshell, these are the areas you’ll need to address:
Blocking off prep time
You’ll need to schedule some time on your calendar for getting your business ready to run on autopilot while you’re gone. What needs to be worked on during these sessions? Keep reading….
Taking care of current clients and business deals
You’ll want to notify your clients and colleagues of your vacation dates. The lead time on notification will depend on how much time your projects take. Will you need to finish their projects before you leave? Can they be put on hold? Can they be started upon your return? This should be discussed with those individuals who are involved. If they’re informed about your vacation schedule, this will help prevent “emergency” contact during your vacation and save you on catch-up time upon your return.
Taking care of prospective clients
Who will handle your incoming calls and emails from your prospective clients? Will a vacation greeting on your voicemail or an auto-responder email be enough until you get back? Or do you need to ask someone to cover for you?
Handling communication while you’re gone
Do you want to check voicemails and emails while you’re on vacation? Do you need someone to screen your voicemails and emails and forward only the emergencies? Or will your vacation auto-responder suffice?
Paying the bills
You don’t want to rack up late fees while you’re gone, so be sure to make payment arrangements before you leave.
Blocking off catch-up time
This is so important! Even if you decide to have someone screen your calls and emails, you’ll still need to address everything that you did not address while you were gone. You can knock out a huge amount of tasks if you block off a full day – process mail, email and phone calls. On your “out of office” messages, be sure you include this day as a part of your absence so that people don’t email and call you on your first day back. Let them be surprised when you respond a day early.
The more organized your plan is on the front end, the less stress you’ll come back to when you return to work. Wanna get away?