As you read this, I am probably laying on the beach finishing up J.K. Rowling’s new (for adults!) book, The Casual Vacancy. I may even be sipping a cocktail … with an umbrella and a little straw. 🙂
I’m not trying to make you jealous … I swear! But one of the difficult things about being a solopreneur is the worry about leaving your business alone.
The first thing you need to do is plan ahead. Just like yourpreparing for holiday crazyness, you need to get your ducks in a row. What does that mean? Read on.
- Set up an email auto-responder that lets people know that you are on vacation and when you will be back. Here’s how to do it in Gmail.
- If you are in the middle of working on a specific project/item for someone, email a heads up a few weeks ahead of time and then email them every few days the week before. (To avoid being annoying, I recommend including this as note or an aside in other communication. However, being annoying is better than being a vagrant)
- Schedule posts for your blog, twitter or facebook using Buffer, TweetDeck, or Hoot Suite. This one depends a lot on how long you’ll be gone and away from social media — if it’ll be a while it may be worth it to do this so it doesn’t look like you’ve disappeared off the internet. Then set up auto-posting of your blog and/or shop to twitter and facebook. You may not be able to interact with your followers, but at least they can interact with you. Maybe you’ll even end up with some testimonials — tech working for you while you’re gone!
- Put your shop on vacation or have clear messaging everywhere saying there will be a delay in creating or mailing. Putting your shop on vacation or removing all products has (negative) SEO consequences, so if you’re only going to be gone for a few days to a week max, it’s probably not worth it. Longer than that, you really risk alienating your customers.
- Designate a back-up, emergency contact. Include this person in your email auto-responder, your social media, blog, and shop. Make sure it is someone you can trust and who knows your shop. Take some time to go over the important things with them before you leave.
- Decided if and when you’ll be checking email and social media and stick to it!. This is so so important, so that you actually get the break you deserve and get to actually live your vacay. My mentor, Amy Hoy, who spent half the year traveling, wrote a fantastic and practical post about traveling and running your business.
Lastly, have an amazing vacation!
See ya next week!