As a business owner it's important to take time away from work for yourself. However, worrying about staff meeting deadlines or suppliers being happy, adds more stress and worry, and less time enjoying your holiday. With some planning beforehand and good communication with staff, you won't worry about the business operating in your absence.
If it's not possible for you to completely switch off or if something urgent comes up, technology is a great way to check in and ensure things are going well.
Letting go over a shut-down period
As long as there are some basic precautions in place before you leave, there’s no need to be overly anxious about your business during a shut-down period.
- Ensure all documents are backed up and stored securely in an off site location - take this a step further and check that you can restore your systems from a back up.
- Arrange for a responsible staff member or someone independent from the business to check on the business premises.
- Install security systems if you haven't done so already - fire alarms/ sprinkler systems and break in monitoring by a security firm.
- Ensure you have insurance in place and that none of your policies have lapsed.
Allowing staff to run your business
Trusting staff to run your business requires a large amount of trust and faith. However if everyone is clear of the expectations, it is very likely they will manage without you.
Delegating and putting good systems in place are the keys to a carefree holiday. You should:
- Plan for the unexpected - eg. who should be contacted if there are unexpected problems, what would you do if staff fall ill.
- Discuss both your team and your own concerns with everyone.
- Pick the right people for the right jobs - this is critical, as you'll be relying on staff to continue operating the business in your absence and it's essential you prepare them.
- Ensure employees are familiar with the contingency plans - discuss, review and practice before your departure
Establish clear lines of authority and communication
In this time, other employees have a chance to prove their worth. Therefore, ensure they know their responsibilities and their tasks to complete have written guidelines. Also, establish who will have contact with you, to minimise being overburdened with messages. However, having brief one line text messages can be a comfort. Save phone calls for more pressing matters.
Encourage team work amongst your staff, so they can work out small issues without your assistance. Make sure everyone's mobile numbers are shared amongst the team. Ensure they know who to call in the event of an emergency and who is responsible for in your absence.
It's likely that unless you hear from them, your employees are coping well. Periodic emails, texts or phone calls should be minimal to avoid micro managing. Instead, make the most of your well earned break.
Check in remotely
However, if you can't entirely let go, technology allows you to work remotely or manage things from a distance. Your only necessities are an ability to communicate wherever you are, and technology is your link. You'll need to made sure if you'll have wifi or at least a good mobile connection where you're going.
If new technology is required for this purpose, don't leave it until the last minute. You'll want to be comfortable using these gadgets, and have an opportunity to set up and test them thoroughly. Preferably this will be done well before leaving.
Ideally, in these circumstances, you'll be able to review and access documents and project work through a server based system or in the cloud, wherever company documents are stored.