Tanya Kuhrt, Virtual PA

By Tanya Kuhrt

Sun…sea…sand – will you ever see it again?! It’s that time of year when you really really want to get away but the thought of leaving your business to go on holiday is enough to cause a panic attack….but don’t worry! You SHALL go to the beach! It just takes a little planning and a leap of faith!

Read on for how to go on holiday and actually relax. (And leave your smartphone in your hotel room – otherwise it’s not really a holiday is it?!)

Shut Up Shop?

Many small business owners don’t even consider simply telling their clients that they are going away for a week. (Or even two weeks – yes it is possible!). So many people are away during August anyway, and yours could be the kind of business that could simply shut down for two weeks. You just need to change your mindset!

Planning

Make sure you keep your diary as clear as you can the week before and the week after you go away. That way you can maximise the amount of time you can spend getting everything done before you go, and give yourself enough time when you get back to catch up. Give your clients plenty of notice by sending out an email with your holiday dates a couple of months before you go. Then add a footer to your email signature highlighted in bright red and that way every time they get an email from you they’ll be reminded and they’ll work around you! Planning is also key to the art of delegating – see below.

You SHALL go to the beach!Timing

As said above timing is everything. Many people are away in August anyway so it tends to be very quiet for many businesses. If people try to get hold of you in August and they get your out of office auto they won’t be that surprised! If your business is busy in August work out the quietest time for you and your customers and go then instead.

Automate

There are a whole host of things that can be automated to take place whilst you are away. A good example is social media posting. Use scheduling for Facebook, and a tool like Hootsuite for your tweets. There are other business processes that can be automated such as invoicing if you use an online program such as Quickbooks or Xero. You can even automate most of your bookkeeping by using  Receipt Bank. And don’t forget the  out of office auto which is essential when going on holiday!

Delegate

If you are a one person business then chances are you’ll be able to manage without involving any one else. Many of you will need an extra pair of hands though, even if it is just for answering the phones. A call answering service can answer in your company name and send you an email message at very competitive rates. One thing I always do when away is get one of my virtual PAs to monitor my email inbox for me so that I don’t have to spend the first few days when I get back trawling through hundreds of emails. She’ll organise them into folders for me and the best part is that if there is anything that really can’t wait until I get back, she’ll send me a text alert. That way I can leave my phone in my hotel room and just do a quick check of my texts once a day to see if there’s anything really urgent. It means I can actually sunbathe and RELAX!

TroLeave your business behind and relax............

Leave your business behind and relax…………

There are lots of other ways a virtual PA could help you out whilst you are away.  A good tip is to plan ahead and build up a relationship with your PA before you go so that you can relax in the knowledge that everything is being looked after just the way you want it. The main thing is to take a leap of faith and just DO IT!