Holidays are coming… Holidays Are Coming… HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!!!AHHHHH!! PANIC STATIONS!! How in the world are you supposed to take a holiday when you’re self-employed or a business owner?!
It might seem like the impossible task when it feels as if you do everything but it is possible and you can relax while away! Below we list 5 steps that will leave you confident to step back and enjoy some much-deserved down time.
STEP 1: MAKE A PLAN
Before doing anything make sure you have a set plan in place so you can give anyone who requires it the correct information.
When are you going?
For how long?
When will you return to work?
Will sales/trade/appointments continue in your absence?
Do you have a stand in? Who is this? What are their contact details? Are calls and emails going to be redirected or are they able to access yours?
Will opening hours be reduced?
A great tip is to block off 1-2 extra days on your calendar before your holidays and treat these as being out of the office. This gives you a buffer to get your packing done but you can also do work in the background, tend to any last-minute pieces that come in and plan your work to come back to.
STEP 2: ANNOUNCE THE HOLIDAY
Customers and clients like to be kept informed. From around 6 weeks prior to your break we suggest telling anyone who will be affected by your holiday. If your business will be fully closed for a set period update your opening hours on your website and social media to pre-warn people of this. If someone else will be running your business on your behalf whilst you’re away introduce them to reassure clients that they’re in safe hands. Share a little bit about them and why you know they’ll do a great job, brilliant for staff morale and engaging for customers.
STEP 3: AUTOMATE RESPONSES
Create automatic responses on your social media and emails that inform clients of your holiday, when you’ll be back and what/who they should contact if the matter is urgent. Even if someone else is stepping in to run things for you this takes one task off their to-do list, you can include their details if applicable such as, ‘While I’m away the lovely X will be taking caring of things and is contactable on this number should you need her’.
If you sell online and will still be accepting orders, make sure your delivery times are clearly stated if a delay is to be expected. If you’re putting your online shop into holiday mode make sure you’ve updated the holiday message, and message response, to convey any relevant information such as when you’ll be back and open again.
STEP 4: SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA
Batch make and pre-schedule your social media posts, especially if there are any set holidays, dates or celebrations you’d like to mark. It’s a good idea to include a line reminding customers that you’re currently closed and when you’re looking forward to seeing everyone again.
STEP 5: CLOCK OFF
Actually take the holiday! Put your Out of Office on and go! Your clients/customers and followers will all want to hear about it but AFTER you’re back.
Make sure your Out of Office message details when you’ll return and when people can expect a response by. Remember not everyone will have seen your original holiday announcement on social media and many people will see your posts in their feed before checking your actual page or website. Ensure you pin your Out of Office post on your Facebook page for those looking for opening times or contact details. If you’re listed on google don’t forget to update those opening hours too.