Christmas is right around the corner and chances are you have some plans over the next month to visit family or friends to celebrate the year. Not only that but you probably generally need to take a vacation to end off the year. But how can you do that?
Being a small business owner can make taking a vacation really hard, but there are a few things that you can do to make your upcoming break go relatively smoothly this holiday season. That way you can kick back with your eggnog and catch a cheesy Christmas flick.
Plan With Your Vacation in Mind
You can’t just suddenly take a vacation, you don’t want business to simply just stop—but if you don’t take the time to take a vacation, chances are this is what’s going to happen. So, do yourself a favor and plan ahead.
Now is not too late to start planning, but the longer you have the better. Use your planning time to make sure that you aren’t simply missing work, the work that needs to be done gets done before and everything else has a time and place afterwards.
Give Your Clients a Heads Up
When it comes to taking a break, you might or might not have to get someone to cover you, but in this case, I’m assuming you’re a solopreneur like myself that has one-on-one clients. With that in mind, you need to give your clients a heads up.
To clarify, you are not asking your clients for permission. You run your own business, you do not need to get clearance from them about whether or not you can take a break. You can. You just want to give them time to adjust their schedules (and expectations) if they need to.
I would further recommend giving a specific date that all of the work has to be in your inbox to guarantee that you can get it done. If they don’t get it in on time, it will be done afterwards.
Send a Reminder Email Before You go
Right before you head out, I recommend sending a quick vacation reminding your client that you are about to take a vacation. I typically do this at the beginning of the week of, or for shorter trips one or two days before.
However, I do not give anyone a heads up if I’m going to be gone for one or two days. I simply set an out of office. Like I said before, you have clients not a boss. Taking off a day here or there won’t seriously set you back unless you have a deadline. Don’t miss those deadlines!
Set an Out-Of-Office
I pre-schedule my out of office email because I always forget to do this. This is simple and easy to do, plus it will serve as a notification for any confused clients who are waiting for a reply.
While it seems more convenient to only send your out of the office to the person the first time they email during the blank, I set it every time they email because I don’t want someone who emails three days later to think that I’m in the office when I’m not.
Put Away Your Phone
Finally, if you’re going to really take a vacation, put away your phone. Unless your a doctor, police officer or other first-responder, chances are no one’s going to be in a devastating estate if you don’t answer your phone. No one that I know has ever died from lack of last-minute marketing strategy.
This is your holiday vacation and you deserve to enjoy it. What happens if a client does email you with an emergency? They wait.
What if they can’t and get someone else? Let it roll off your shoulder. Seriously, you don’t need clients who can’t let you enjoy the vacation you deserve.
How do you manage to take a vacation over the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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