Last summer was amazing. Not only were we free to travel whenever and wherever we wanted… My family and I kicked off the summer with a trip to the beach in Alabama. The Gulf Shore in Alabama is really short and completely underrated. Have you been? The beaches are open, family-friendly and gorgeous!
But leading up to our family vacay, I was wound tighter than a girdle on a minister’s wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast!
I can’t be alone in this feeling… Does the thought of taking time off running your business make you break into a sweat too?
We love traveling as a family and have made it a point to do it as much as possible, even going so far as to purchase a travel trailer for camping. Having the freedom to attend a family wedding in Texas or hanging out with family in the mountains of Maryland is one of the reasons I love running my own business.
The freedom to move around and create a job to fit my own schedule is great, but it can be a little stressful. Because while I’m doing my thing, my clients still need me, and my business still needs to run smoothly.
Taking time off is essential (especially if you’re a creative like me) and here’s how you can do it without stressing:
As your business grows, and so does your team, a natural hierarchy will begin to form. You must take advantage of the opportunity to delegate communications because when you finally answer the call of your beach chair, your team will be ready to step up.
It’s hard to loosen the reins, but not being available 24/7 to every employee, client, and vendor will make you a better leader. It’s why most managers have one person that reports to them, and why that person maybe has a handful of direct contacts of their own.
Prepare your business to continue functioning without you, so vacations can be what they’re intended to be; a chance to recharge your batteries.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS)
Communicating with your team, and being available to them is important. However, not every single detail needs to be discussed. SOPS are great to have for everyday tasks, standard onboarding procedures, or routine meetings held between client and business (like a kick-off meeting!).
Once you have SOPS, not only will you have detailed records on how to perform common tasks for the business, you’ll also have the ability to train new hires faster and become more efficient as a whole.
Even your SOPS need SOPS. You’ll probably have to do the first one, so your staff knows how to complete the rest.
Staying in touch with your work back home is important, sure. But it’s not more important than being present with your family and loved ones while traveling.
I’ve seen it a thousand times. While away, business owners tend to focus a little too much on their work and invertedly make everyone else feel like they’re playing second fiddle. It causes a lot of angst, and isn’t that what you’re trying to avoid while tanning on a white sandy beach and sipping a Pina Colada?
If you hire smart people who can function without you holding their hand, disconnecting will be much more realistic. And in case of an emergency, have a communication plan in place so it can be handled without interrupting you. (like an SOP for emergencies! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Hire capable people you can trust who communicate efficiently. Not just because your business is filled with secrets – but because trust creates confidence in both you and your team. Confidence is a driving force that gets you so much closer to complete success. So take the time to empower your team to present solutions to problems, communicate concisely, and be confident in their ability to give answers. Doing all that will make a trip to the lake, mountain, or beach a lot easier on you and them!
We’ve got an opening for two small businesses looking for a team of confident and capable digital marketers. If you’re looking for someone to take the reins of your social media platforms, newsletters, or emails – let’s talk to find out if we’re a good fit. Click here to grab a spot on my calendar.