It’s that time of year again. Many solo entrepreneurs are ready to go on vacation. They dream of white beaches, pleasant hikes, and hanging in a hammock on a tropical island. They plan to come back to work refreshed and renewed, but often they return to work more stressed out than before they left. Usually that’s because they didn’t plan how to manage their business while they were away. And the result of no planning was tropical stress—there were no pleasant times spent lying in a hammock—there was work and frustration on a tropical island.
In order to help you avoid the stress of vacating, plan ahead and try these following five tips to insure that your vacation is just as you envisioned it.
- Plan to take your vacation during your business slow season; you know when that is for your business. Stress will be reduced if you know that your potential clients aren’t really thinking about services anyway.
- Let your clients know beforehand that you will on vacation and how you plan to handle their requests while you are away. You can send an email to your clients letting them know when you will be gone and how to contact you if there is an emergency. If you write a monthly or weekly newsletter devote space in it to announce your vacation plans too. Set your email to auto response with a similar message. And remember to leave a clear voice mail message as well so that clients will be reminded that you are on vacation and the approximate times when you will return their calls.
- Set certain times each business day when you do intend to reply to urgent emails and business emergencies. Usually, twice a day for a couple of hours is plenty of time to keep in contact with your clients.
- Find out in advance, if where you are going provides sufficient telephone and internet service. If you are really going off the grid and there is no service, then have a trusted colleague set up to handle your business emergencies. And, introduce that colleague to your clients in advance.
- Invest in a cell phone battery charger and computer charger so that you are not stopped by a dead battery and no way to charge it up. Bring a travel power strip to eliminate the problem of a hotel room with not enough outlets.
Do these steps make sense to you? Yes, it will take some planning ahead to insure that your vacation is relaxing and rejuvenating. You will enjoy your time off more if you know that your business is running smoothly, and most importantly if you have been in communication with your clients and your potential clients regarding your time off. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and be impressed with how seriously you think about their well-being while you are taking care of your own.