One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is taking time off. For one thing, we feel like our companies will fall apart when we leave for a week or two. And for many of us who are solopreneurs, nothing gets done (and no money is made) when we’re not there. But I argue that vacation and downtime is key to being a better entrepreneur. That’s for another blog post.
While you certainly should let any long-term clients know that you plan to take a vacation, there’s no reason the rest of the world has to know that you’re closing up shop.
1. Have a Backup Contact
If you have an assistant, VA or even freelancer who can address issues while you’re gone, direct people to them in your vacation autoresponder in your email. I find that, even though I always do this, there are rarely any situations where this person is actually contacted. Still, it gives you peace of mind that fires will be put out, and your clients feel like they have someone who can help them in your absence. I give my contact my personal email, which I still check while on vacation, so that I can be in touch without logging in and stressing over the 300 unread emails in my work inbox.
2. Preschedule Blog Posts
You can continue to put out great content on your blog while you’re away. Simply write the posts in advance and schedule them to go live while you’re out. This keeps your blog updated and keeps readers coming back for more.
3. Preschedule Social Media Updates
If you’re big on Twitter (and Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +) use tools that let you preschedule updates, such as HootSuite and Buffer. You can share links to your content and other articles, as well as just keep the flow of activity more current. You won’t be able to respond to any replies, so if that’s a concern, have your contact from #1 monitor your company accounts.
4. Get Your Work Done Early
I’m lucky because my writing projects tend to be ones I can do any time, as long as they’re scheduled to go live on their designated days. So I don’t lose out on income when I go on vacation because I complete my work before I leave. Not everyone has this option, but consider asking your clients if you can work on your projects beforehand if possible. Who will turn you down for offering to do your work early?
5. Reroute Calls
Use Google Voice or another platform that lets you create multiple voicemail boxes and route calls to different people. Even if you typically answer all calls, by rerouting calls to the appropriate division (sales, accounts payable, etc), you can at the very least organize them to make them easier to tackle upon your return, or send them to your employees who can help while you’re out.
You deserve a vacation. Don’t let running your company be your excuse for not taking one. With technological advances like we’ve got these days, there’s no reason you can’t get away (and not check your email while you’re on the beach!) and relax.
Photo: epitomized1 on Flickr
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, FutureSimple, and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.