How to Keep Your Business Running While You're on Vacay
BY BIG CAT CREATIVE
If your run your business anything like I do, you know that when you’re not busy working on client work, you’re probably busy creating awesome free content for you audience. You know that consistently creating, posting and sharing this content is vital to growing your business, so, what do you do when you want to take time off?
It’s coming up to Christmas and I have a 2 week holiday planned--think sun, beaches, cocktails… side note: I live in the southern hemisphere. I want to be able to really take this time to have a break, and not have to worry about working. Sure, I could take my laptop with me and dedicate a few hours a day to keeping up with posting and contacting clients, but I don’t want to.
I want to be able to come back from this vacation refreshed and ready for the new work year knowing I’ve had a decent break. I also really want to prove that with a bit of strategy and a few extra hours clocked beforehand, my business can run itself while I sip cold beer on the beach...
So I have created a list of things that I plan to do, and that you should do to, when coming up to a vacation or some time away. These are also things to consider to put into practice regularly, incase you have to take an unexpected break.
1 | BATCH YOUR WORK
This is something that I do every week to stay ahead, but am focussing on even more now that I’m planning an extra two weeks worth on content in advance. The goal is to create enough content to post while I’m away, so I don’t have to alter my regular posting Schedule, so it doesn’t really look like I’m away at all.
For example, I post new Blog posts every Monday and Wednesday, so I will need at least 4 blogs written and formatted for the time I am away. Sometime this week I will sit down and “batch” these blog posts so that they are all done in advance.
This way, while I’m gone, I won’t have to think about creating any new blogs posts, or any other content. I plan to batch everything that I post regularly: Blog Posts, Freebies, Instagram Posts, Facebook Posts, Pins.
2 | SCHEDULE YOUR WORK
Once you have batched all of your content, create a calendar to plan out when everything needs to be posted. For example, I will make a note that my blog posts need to go out every Monday and Wednesday, I will then plan exactly which ones will go out on which date.
Clients should be informed that you won’t be doing any work over this period so, when you’re booking clients, make sure to book them only before and after your break. If you have a booking calendar on your website, make sure you block out the dates that you will be gone (so you don’t have to awkwardly reschedule!)
3 | AUTOMATE YOUR POSTS
Now the magic happens--we’re going to put everything on autopilot! This means no setting alarms and manually sharing posts, it’s going to do it all itself (well, most of it anyway).
Once I have written and formatted my Blog posts and they’re all ready to go, I can schedule them with the Squarespace Blog scheduler (just click Edit > Draft > Schedule and choose a time). Once I have saved those as scheduled, they will post whenever I have told them to.
I automate my Instagram with Planoly, though there still is some manual work involved and you’ll need to be with your phone and some internet to post, it will remind you to post and have your scheduled image and caption all set up, you just have to hit go!
You can pretty much automate anything these days, so, put in that extra effort now and set everything up to go, because you will thank yourself later (when you’re sunbaithing).
4 | AUTORESPONDER
Put an autoresponder on your email. Trust me. It’s much better from a client's perspective because they will know you’re on holiday, not just being slack and ignoring them for 2 weeks, and you’ll get back to them when you can. It’s also much better for you, because when you hear your email ding, you know that your autoresponder is dealing with it, and you don’t have to even look at it for another two weeks.
5 | LET PEOPLE KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Even though the goal is to create enough content to make it look like we’re still slaving away in the office, it’s still good to let people know that you’re going away. Especially make sure that you tell clients that have just had projects wrap up, or ones that you will be working on either side of your break, clients that you will likely hear from.
If you can do all of these things, you’ll barely have to think about your business for the time you’re away - woohoo! Depending on how much you have been able to automate, there will probably still be some manual posting (for example, Instagram) but we’re lucky these days that we can do mostly anything from our phones with a few taps!
Another important note is: your business won’t die without you for two weeks. Even if you don’t post anything at all, and completely drop off the face of the earth for 2 weeks, your business will survive. You will probably have a lull in engagement and site views, but it would take a lot more than 2 weeks to completely derail all that you have built. So with that said, if you miss a post here and there because you’re having too much fun doing something else, DO NOT stress about it. Enjoy your time off, while you have it!
What do you do to prepare for time away from your business? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,