Small business owners have repeatedly said they worry about taking time off.
Have you ever struggled to take a break from your business?
Has the first day back at work after a holiday been more stressful than before you left?
Not all industries can have the luxury of a shut down period when the owner takes a holiday.
Fortunately there are now many ways to keep in touch with goings on at the office and on the shop floor, ensuring that you can keep up to date with any urgent developments. To make a smooth transition back into work, we explore some of your options.
- Emails: No need to carry a laptop with you or look around for a desktop. With your Smartphone you can manage your inbox anywhere. However you may be tempted to spend all your time checking, so try and dedicate a set amount of time each day. Be disciplined!
- Online Calendars: Use shared online calendars such as Google’s to keep informed about staff activity.
- Customer Relationship Management System (CRM): Your memory can elude you at the best of times and when you’re on holiday, away from familiar surroundings, it’s more likely to be a problem. A CRM (we use Capsule) logs all customer communications, tasks and opportunities that arise day to day. It’s a great reference tool to look back at and remember what you may have said several months ago.
- Virtual Assistant (VA): Many small business owners tend to be ‘one-man bands’. A VA can make all the difference in making sure you get some valuable time to recharge while at the same time important tasks are completed. VA’s are self-employed professionals who work remotely. They can provide support for a whole range of business tasks from simple administration to more detailed project activity.
- Timed social media interaction: If it is important to you that your customers/partners don’t know that you are away, take some time to explore the options for timed tweets and scheduled Facebook or blog updates.
- Document management: The need to carry USB sticks around your neck is no more. With GoogleDocs and PDF Notes you are able to work on any files anywhere in the world – as long as you can access the internet of course!
- Web meetings: Applications such as Cisco WebEx Meeting Centre and GoTo meeting allow you to take part in crucial meetings anywhere in the world. Alternatively you can view the content shared during the meeting if you do not want to participate “live”.
We even had a chance to spend a little time away from our office in Chorley. Our accounting team continued to work throughout the summer whilst I was kept in the loop about anything major.
We’d love to hear how you cope with holiday shut downs… why not drop us a line and let us know!