Managing Business Operations While You’re on Vacation

by Lois Leonard

2 min read

Every so often, it’s important to take a vacation to rest and spend time with your loved ones. However, your business doesn’t stop, even when you need time off. For a better work-life balance, take vacations on a regular basis. Planning in advance ensures that operations continue to run smoothly while you’re away.

Shut Down for Vacation

Your business may experience slow times, which present the perfect opportunity take a vacation. For example, if January through May are your busiest months, and business tapers off significantly in June and July, those months might be ideal for taking time off from work. Depending on the nature of your business, consider shutting down entirely. That way, you don’t have to balance your time off with worrying about what’s happening at the office.

Give Sufficient Notice

Whether you close up shop or leave your employees to run your business while you’re on vacation, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. If you plan to shut down, the first thing you should do is notify your customers or clients, as well as vendors and other service providers you deal with, that your business will be closed. Giving notice avoids confusion when people with whom you do business come looking for you. If closing up shop, as a courtesy, you may wish to give your employees and online contractors notice that your business will be closed and that no work or assignments will be available while you’re on vacation. This gives them the opportunity to plan how they’ll spend their downtime.

Delegate and Stay Connected

If your business doesn’t shut down entirely, you need to delegate your responsibilities to someone else. A trusted employee who has been with you since the business started can fill your shoes, as can a business partner who knows your operations well. If you’re a solopreneur and just need someone to complete tasks, such as data entry, consider hiring and training a temp before you go on vacation. It’s a good idea to stay connected while you’re on vacation, but you won’t get the rest you need if you turn it into a working vacation. To unplug, consider checking email once per day and replying to urgent emails only. Leave a phone number and instruct the person in charge to call you only in case of an emergency.

Pay Bills in Advance

Nothing spoils the benefits of a relaxing vacation like coming back to overdue bills and suspended utilities. To avoid such hassles, consider paying your bills in advance of your vacation. You may wish to pay your credit card bills to avoid late charges and potential interest rate hikes. If you have appliances (such as refrigerators) or equipment (such as a server or fax machine) in your office, paying your electricity bill before your vacation ensures you won’t experience any interruptions in service.Taking a vacation is as important as anything else you do to make your business successful. Much like having a business plan, having a vacation plan ensures you can take time off without losing clients, business contacts, and revenue.

References & Resources

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