Your Summer Holiday is so close!
You can hear the waves calling you already, imagine the feeling of sand between your toes, and you can almost taste the fresh delight of someone else cooking for you for 2 weeks …..!!
But how can an Entrepreneur truly switch off and relax? How can a Solopreneur be fully present on that beach without their business crumbling around them?
Customer queries left unanswered.
Invoices piling up to be paid.
Nothing but tumbleweed on Instagram.
So what is the magical answer??
The best possible route to a stress-free, work-free summer holiday is to prep and plan, plan, plan!
I know, I know, you’ve heard it before – ‘preparation is key.’
No seriously, preparation is key!! However, we know that a busy business owner like yourself may ironically find it difficult to find the time to plan ahead to that degree!
Here’s our handy 5 step actionable plan to prep your business for your summer holiday:
1. Make a list of EVERYTHING that would need to be continued throughout your trip.
This could be:
- New orders to be dealt with
- Social media content to be produced and scheduled
- Invoices to be paid
- Customer service
- Email and social media inbox management
Think of absolutely every element within your business that you deal with daily, from the smallest to the largest. What tasks, if left undone, could be potentially damaging to the precious empire you’ve lovingly built?
2. Work out which of those (if any) you have the time to plan and schedule in advance.
Certainly, the ‘normal practice’ is to set an auto-response on your emails. This works beautifully if you feel there won’t be any urgent responses needed. Or if you have someone else in your company you can refer the sender to in your absence.
But what if you don’t? What if you miss an offer or sale of a lifetime because no one was monitoring your emails???
With social media content, you could potentially make use of the many free apps to plan your content, such as Later, or Planoly as an example. If you have the time in advance to prep for this, these apps are invaluable to ensure you have a constant stream of content.
However, if posting Instagram stories on a daily basis is integral to your marketing strategy, the majority of these apps require a paid plan for the ability to schedule ahead of time.
Make a list of everything you think you could honestly have the time to do in advance, and another list of tasks that need to be manned, and can’t be automated.
Be realistic, what do you genuinely have the time to do?
3. Hire a Virtual Assistant, or team of Assistants to take care of business.
Once you’ve identified the elements of your business that need assistance whilst you’re away, it’s time to treat yourself and hire a Virtual Assistant!
I know, thinking about handing over the reins is HARD!!
In reality, if you have taken the time to uber prepare your processes and exactly what needs doing, it’s a breeze! Don’t forget, on a daily basis Virtual Assistants help a range of business owners such as yourself. They are equipped with the great skill of being a chameleon!
They are highly skilled at adjusting to an entrepreneur’s tone of voice, and various business processes.
This kind of planning does require you to put some time aside, but remember, this planning doesn’t have to be just for your summer holiday. It could be a very much-needed planning session on how you can run your business going forward, and address which tasks you’d like to hand over permanently!
Here are the steps you need to follow to hire the right VA for the job.
STEP 1 – Get your processes in place.
As an example, if you want to hire a VA to handle your Customer Service and enquiries, prepare a document with all the typical responses that could be required whilst you’re away. Think of any regular questions you might be asked, or detail the exact process you go through when you make a sale, or take an order request.
BE SPECIFIC! The more specific you are, the more seamless the handover process will be.
Also, think how far you would want a Customer Service agent to take an enquiry before getting in contact with you. It could be that you decide a holding response is enough until you return, however, to be able to FULLY relax whilst you’re away, we would always recommend having someone to check your messages daily ……. Just in case!
STEP 2 – Decide if one VA fits all, or if you need a team.
Many Virtual Assistants are multi-skilled and can handle a range of different tasks, but you might decide that having a range of people to help is the way forward, if you’d prefer a specialist team.
In either case, you need to decide who is the point of contact for your Customer Service VA for every eventuality, to make sure things get actioned and run smoothly.
Be realistic – are you going to want to completely switch off and give them free rein? Or are you going to have a set time each day where you check in with them, to see if they have any questions that need answering?
Or is there someone else you can give authority to so they can give the go-ahead on things that will need to get done?
4. Contact My Freelance Admin to discuss booking the right VA for you!
We have an incredible range of VAs available to help you have the best possible Summer Holiday, and to relax with the knowledge that your business is being taken care of!
Whether it’s drafting in someone to check your emails once a day for anything urgent, or assembling a team to take care of everything on your list, we’ve absolutely got you!
As an example, we recently had the pleasure of providing Virtual Assistants for 3 Entrepreneurs who attended the same wedding in France! Because it was a short trip across a long weekend, we primarily provided Customer Service VAs to do the following:
1. CEO of a Tech Startup: Customer Service VA to man any enquiries or issues that would arise.
2. Commercial Director of a drinks brand: Email inbox management.
3. Company Director of a staffing agency: Customer Service VA to monitor enquiries and engagement on social media.
If you’d like to have a chat about what you need and how we work, please click here to book a free consultation with Rachael, our Company Director.
Or find out more about the services we provide.
5. Pack your bags, and have a great time!
The beach awaits, send us a postcard!
Written by Debbie Watt