Vacations are one of the many things sacrificed by startup business owners. Even those working online. Even if the business has been running a couple of years it can still be a challenge to step away from the emails, posting and creating that working online involves.
Yet one of the supposed advantages of having your own online business is that you can go anywhere at any time and still have the busines running. The problem is business owners believe that going on vacation means they’ll slip from the minds of their list and social media contacts, lose money, and return to a pile of work.
If you are to genuinely leave your business and relax it’s important to make plans to take vacations. You have to decide and work out how you are going to turn off the computers, disconnect from social media, and spend time away from your daily work.
Here are six ways you can prepare your business for your vacations.
You cannot expect to select appropriate software or give someone a task if you cannot explain what the task entails. This is where systems come in. You should have a clear process for every important part of the business that you will need to continue if you hope to go away on vacation. This can seem daunting, but it’s really just a matter of recording what you do as you perform each task and then reviewing it to check another person can perform the same task and produce the required results.
Create an Appropriate Schedule
Control the flow of work in and out of your business during your vacation by careful scheduling. Set deadlines that ensure everything is prepared for the vacation period. Knowing everything is in place before you leave creates the piece of mind you’ll need if you are going to enjoy your time off.
It’s an online business, so using automation should seem an obvious solution. There are plenty of things you can automate and there are some things it is best not to. For example, you can automate delivery of content. Autoresponders to send emails to your list and other software to schedule your social media posts. You can also automate parts of your business that do not directly interact with customers, like bookkeeping and computer backups.
As a general rule, if it doesn’t directly affect your clients, consider automating it, especially if it does not make your business seem less ‘human’ and friendly. However, beware of automating anything that responds directly to your customers, like customer service. This sort of task would be better given to a team.
Build a Reliable Team
If you want to run your business so that it continues as usual whether you’re there or not you are going to have to build up a team. Identify the tasks that need creativity or a human touch and find people or outsourcing companies that will meet these needs. Using individuals or companies each have their advantages. A company can be more reliable than an individual, simply because you will not be depending on just one person. However a person that understands and meets your needs exactly can be better than a company with many clients competing for their attention.
Find a Partner
If you cannot yet afford to build a team or outsource, consider going into partnership with another business owner who does the same type of work as you. There are a number of advantages to online partnerships, including having an agreement that each partner will take over some of the work of the other during vacations.
Build Up A Passive Income
There are plenty of opportunities for passive income online. Affiliate marketing, blogging, and adverts leading to automated sales and delivery systems can help make your business less reliant on other income sources that demand your active participation. Build up a passive income and the ability to schedule blog and social media posts for while you’re on a vacation, and your business will hardly notice your absence for a couple of weeks.
As an online business owner you can easily take a laptop or tablet on vacation and keep working from anywhere with an internet connection. However, if you want to completely disconnect for a period of time there are ways to organise your business so that you can have a genuine vacation.