When was your last holiday? I mean a real holiday – you know, where you actually turned off your phone and ignored email.
Having time off allows you to recharge and take a fresh look at where your business is heading. Many a good idea has flourished after an afternoon beach walk or mountain trek.
Here are my top seven tips for taking a break from your business.
1. Get a business babysitter
Ever wished you could have someone look after your business while you take holidays, just to ensure you don’t miss anything important? A business babysitter can do just that, allowing you to take a well-earned break.
Studies have shown that up to 75 percent of people won’t leave a message on an answering machine and that an ‘out of office’ email drives people elsewhere.
A good business babysitter can answer your phones, book in appointments, take orders and even prepare a to-do list for your first day back.
2. Use a scheduling tool on your website
Use a service like TimeTrade or ScheduleOnce to allow clients and customers to book appointments directly into your diary. These booking tools can be easily embedded into your website, or you can simply place the booking link in your ‘out of office’ auto responder.
3. Notify your customers ahead of time
Make sure you don’t surprise your customers. Notify them ahead of time by placing a reminder in your email signature or by giving your top clients a quick reminder call.
4. Set up direct debits
Stop the bills piling up by paying them ahead of time. Or for better cash flow management, set up direct debits for payments so they’re automatically paid on their due date.
5. Make your ‘Out of Office’ an automated marketing tool
Be creative and make sure your potential clients don’t leave empty handed by sharing some of your best blog posts, videos or free resources in your email auto responders.
6. Be social
Schedule your social media messages ahead of time by using tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or my new favourite, Meet Edgar. Make your followers jealous and use Instagram to post your holiday shenanigans in real time.
7. And finally, have a digital detox
Even though cloud computing has given us the ability to work from anywhere, this convenience is a pain at holiday time. The temptation is ever present to just ‘check in’, so make sure you ‘check out’ by turning off your phone, changing your voicemail message and only using your tablet device to read the books you bought six months ago!
No more excuses – with these tips under your belt, it is time to pack your bags and get ready to enjoy lots of little umbrellas in your drinks.
What other tips do you have when you take holidays as a soloist?