Going on vacation? Here’s what a small business owner should do before

outof offices

For a lot of people going on vacation means relaxing and seeing new places, an escape from anything related to the ‘real world’. Not only is a vacation a great way to decompress, but it can often be beneficial for your business. You’ll come back recharged. But there are yet many small business owners find themselves working from a lounge chair at the beach or spending their entire vacation worrying about work when they should be relaxing as that is what vacation entails. With some preparation and planning, you can have an enjoyable vacation while your customers are taken care of back at the office.

Write down your tasks, current and upcoming. A few weeks before leaving for vacation, you want to make sure you go through all your current projects and responsibilities. Make a list of all that need to be done before you leave, as well as everything that will need to be done while you leave. Figure out and determine what you can delegate to another employee, as well as what can wait to be done upon your return. Doing a majority of your tasks that are possible before you leave can make things go smoother while you go away.

Be sure to give your employees specific instructions. Be sure to meet with all your employees before you leave and discuss who will handle current projects or tasks that need to be done while you’re away. Let every one of your staff know who will be covering your responsibilities. If you have any new or relatively new employees who will be performing certain tasks, it would be ideal to provide detailed written instructions. The day before you leave, make sure to communicate with your team and make sure that they have everything they need from you. Meet with your employees about a week before you leave to discuss their current projects and determine tasks that need to be done while you are away. Tell the staff that will be covering your responsibilities while you are away. If an employee is relatively new to your company or will be performing new tasks during your vacation, provide detailed written instructions. On your last day in the office, hold a quick meeting to wrap up any details and make sure that your staff has everything that they need from you. One of the keys to taking a successful vacation is to train a specific employee to fill his role.

Schedule times with your staff to check in. If you want to keep yourself from checking emails 30 times a day or fielding endless calls from your staff, let your staff know when you will be checking in or under what circumstances they should call you. It is recommended to only give one staff member your contact information and have all other staff requests to go through that employee to limit the number of times you get called upon on your trip.

Be sure to use your business phone system features. Set your business phone system so that it provides the maximum customer service while you are away. Change the message to let the caller know you are out of the office. There are also many applications that allow you to forward phone calls to your cell phone or any other employee. You can also use a feature that lets you opt to receive an email with the text of all voice mails which allows you to quickly determine any urgent messages from your smart phone.

Let your customers know you will be gone and who they should contact. Communicate with them before you leave and let them know about your vacation and absence. You want to make sure they know who to contact with any issues, as well as let them know when you will be back. It is ideal to set up an out of the office message on your email account the night before you leave. Let the sender know the time-frame you will be out and when they can expect to hear back from you, as well as any instructions on who they can contact if it is urgent.

Once you walk out the office door, do your best to enjoy your vacation and work as little as possible! By taking time for yourself, you will be energized and more productive when you return.