6 Ways To Manage Your Business When You're On Vacation

Owning and running your own business is a hard thing to do and will take a lot of work at the start. You might find that you are working long hours, perhaps every day of the week, just to get things off the ground. So you might find that you are getting too tired to work effectively and you need a break - perhaps you'll like the idea of going abroad, or you might want to stay at home for a week resting up. 

The problem comes when you worry so much about leaving your business in someone else's hands that you can't relax when you're away from it, and taking a vacation in the first place doesn't feel right for you. If you follow this path, you will find that you make yourself ill, burn yourself out, or completely fall out of love with your business. 

To ensure that you can have a vacation and still keep on top of the day to day running of your company, here are some ways that you can manage your business while you're away. 

Choose The Right Mindset

If you choose to take some time away, commit to it. If you know that you're going to have to work, schedule that work time out properly so that you can get it over and done with and then get back to the important task of relaxing and re-energizing. If you find that you're working as much as possible, getting up early or staying up late, missing out on activities or time with your family then you're really not getting the most out of your vacation. You'll risk incurring the wrath of your loved ones who were hoping to spend some time with you, and you'll waste the money you spent traveling because you may as well still be in the office. 

This could also make you start to resent your business - it won't feel much fun if you're stuck in the hotel room and everyone else is having fun on the beach. When you do have to go back to it full time, you might no longer be as enthusiastic as you once were. 

Plan Ahead

A last-minute vacation may sound like fun, but when you realize how much you still need to do to get your business ready for you to leave it for a week or two, you may start to panic and get stressed and anxious. Planning your vacation a good six months in advance will give you ample time to get everything in place that needs to happen, plus it will provide you with a goal to strive towards and to look forward to. You can look at it as a reward for all the hard work you're going to need to put into your business before you go away. 

Look carefully at your busiest and slowest times, and schedule your vacation accordingly. Trying to take some time away when you're at your busiest is a recipe for disaster - you'll be working throughout your vacation if you do that. Choosing a time of the year when things are quieter is a much better idea and will give you a real chance to relax. 

Could You Shut Down?

It could be that you can shut down entirely during your time away. This is easy if you are someone who works on appointments - you can let your clients know when you'll be away and then arrange your next appointments for after you get back from vacation. This may mean working doubly hard in the weeks leading up to your time away, of course, which can sometimes negate the good it is doing you, but if it means you can get away for a while, it will be worth it. 

Alternatively, if you know you are going to need to shut down for a week or two in order to really enjoy your vacation, you can start putting money aside so that when you return, you have that cash to use in place of the money you would have brought in had you been working. 

Let People Know

Something that's basic but crucial that will allow you to have a more comfortable and relaxing vacation is letting the people who need to be aware know that you are going to be out of reach for a little while. The problems often arise when customers and suppliers expect to be able to get in touch with you and can't. If you give them the dates you'll be away beforehand, they can ensure that they have all the answers to any queries before you leave. They will also (hopefully) refrain from getting in touch with you during that time, allowing you to switch off and truly enjoy your vacation. 

Monitor Where Possible

Although it's important to take a vacation, sometimes it's also important to check in on your business from time to time. You don't need to spend long doing this - just 10 minutes or so in the morning and evening can be enough to give you an overview of how things are going. This is a good time to check emails and voicemails (both of which should have a message going out to let people know you aren't available until a specific date but that you will be checking your messages while away, for example) and send a quick message to those who desperately need answers. 

If you use a monitoring program or app such as Instrumental, you can see what is happening with just a glance, giving you peace of mind but alerting you to anything you need to deal with in a timely manner. 

Get Some Help

If you get a lot of phone calls and emails and you just aren't going to be able to deal with them all when you quickly check in, you might want to consider hiring someone to answer your calls for you while you're away. This could be an individual or a specialist answering service - it depends on the volume of calls and how much your budget can afford. 

Whoever you choose will look through your email and answer your phone calls and then send you an email detailing what has occurred during the day, including those issues that are more urgent than others. One email is much less stressful than dozens, plus you'll know exactly what you're meant to do (assuming there is any action to take).