If you're a small business owner, it may be tempting just to work straight through the summer (not to mention fall, winter, and spring). After all, how are you supposed to run a business when you're gone?
But what if you could take that much-needed vacation while still keeping tabs on your business and employees?
We have some good news for you: You can, and you should. Here are five ways to keep business going full-steam ahead while you're blowing off a little of your own steam poolside:
- Need legal advice on how your small business should operate? Consult with an experienced business attorney near you.
- Pick one person to be your eyes and ears. You may have already delegated some authority to a manager or another trusted employee. If you haven't, pick one person to be the conduit for daily (or weekly, depending on where you're going and for how long) check-ins. This person should also have authority to make decisions while you're gone to prevent you from having to micro-manage from the road.
- Make sure you'll have Internet access. You can get Internet access practically anywhere these days, via cell phone networks or even satellites -- though you'll want to be careful when using public Wi-Fi. Being able to check-in via email or video chat, if needed, will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your business no matter where you are.
- Let people know you'll be gone. Maybe the best way to do work while on vacation is by having less of it in the first place. Let clients, vendors, or other people you do business with when you are going to be away and try to schedule as much business before, or after, you go.
- Automate what you can. If you have a website that updates regularly, many publishing platforms allow you to create content in advance and set it to be published at a later date; many social media platforms have similar features. You should also set up an out-of-office reply in your email program, to cut down on the number of e-mails you'll have to respond to. This will also allow you to pick and choose which ones need immediate attention, and which ones can wait.
- Set up shared documents in the cloud. Set up schedules, daily reports and other work-related documents to be shared and accessed online through Google Docs or another online office suite. This allows you to get a real-time look at the day-to-day operations of your business without have to ask an employee for the info. Still, you'll want to be aware of potential security concerns when using cloud services.
Now get out there and have a summer!
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