Working from home and wanting to take a break from your business? Read on.
As holidays approach, I start to go through a mental checklist of what needs to be completed, what needs to be prepped, and also what I’m going to do to with the kids, When we take a break, I want to know the business keeps ticking and the mamma gets a break. (well as much as a mum with two small kids gets anyway).
Cash Flow, content, and clearing any outstanding items tend to spring to mind on the business front.
Over the past five years of building a business around school hours and taking holidays with the kids, I have got into a pretty good holiday prep mode. There are some things I do in my business before the holidays which I have done every year, and there are other things I have introduced as my business has grown.
I thought I’d share my top areas to prepare with you, starting with my (previously sad) New Years eve tradition of…. (drumroll please)
Taking a break from your home based business:
Get your Emails sorted, stat
I have two core actions here.
The first for me is a pre holiday tradition. Operation Inbox Zero.
Yep. BBefore I take any breaks in my business, the inbox gets zeroed out. Anything that needs filing is filed (mainly invoices or customer correspondence). Anything that does not add value gets deleted. It is a great way to remove inbox overwhelm and bring back control.
The second is just courtesy. Auto Responders
I set up auto responders on my email about my availability. It is ok to take a break from your business. If however the thought of not checking emails is going to cause you a totally stress out, then just cut back. Cold turkey can be tough (either as left overs or breaking a habit haha – little holiday joke). Not ready to cold turkey your email checking? Consider saying that response time will be delayed or only once a week.
Finally, if you really want to take a break from email over the holidays, think about removing your email from your phone or any devices you are likely to travel with.
Update Calendar Availability to take a break from your business
This one for me is actually pre planned every year (time management OCD anyone, anyone?). Holidays are the first item in my calendar. I like to allow a few days either side of school holidays for winding up business projects, or planning new ones.
If you are using an calendar scheduler (my favourite is Acuity Scheduling* ) Synching calendars help clients to see your availability. It helps manage expectations and reduces back and forth on booking time around leaving and returning.
Let your client know when the last appointment is for the year, and when the first appointment is upon return.
WRAP UP PROJECTS AS WELL AS PRESENTS WHEN YOU TAKE A BUSINESS BREAK
Presents aren’t the only thing you will be wrapping for holidays! When you take a break from your business, there will be a few projects to wrap up too. If you have planned well, you will know which projects you can wrap up before the holidays, and which ones will go on the back burner for when you return from holidays.
Projects can be anything from thinking about launches, to completing any workshops or other work for clients. You may even look at is as finalising any Facebook lives in any community groups you run. Be sure to come back ready to take on the next steps in your project.
AUTOMATE IS YOUR CONTENT TRAVEL MATE WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK
(that headline is so not seo’d)
Here’s a little pre holiday gift for you! I moved to Smarter Queue this year as you can create evergreen posts. Evergreen posts are great for managing Facebook groups.
They are so helpful for me and my team in scheduling content that my productivity levels have increased. Worried about all the content you need to create? Don’t stress. Smarter Queue has you covered for media automation.
You can schedule other people’s content during the holidays – just make sure it is relevant to your brand and audience both in voice and in appeal.
Oh the gift part! Smarter Queue have a great affiliate program with options so if you would like TWO months free on me to help you schedule your content out while you take a break, you can grab that gift right here . You are welcome! (and no, I don’t earn a cent, any commission is gifted to you, my friend).
Allright stop. Collaborate and Listen. Outsourcing’s back with a brand new invention…Yep 90’s rapper Vanilla Ice was onto something with the whole stop and collaborate when it comes to holidays.
Got budget for your break? Grab yourself a VA or a team (I am totally #blessed omg I just #blessed #embarrased #stopitbellejuststopit). *Ahem* grab yourself a VA or team like the AK Collective (Amber, Lane and co, you seriously rock my productivity socks) to help you out. Outsource to someone who has experience, is reliable, and loves something that you don’t.
In the spirit of collaboration, you can grab my take a break from your biz checklist right here.
PREPARE ANY PRODUCTS
Product based businesses can consider shutting up shop or getting a team in place to handle things,(see above) Be sure to check any systems to ensure there are no glitches while you are away.
Where possible, don’t take leave when you are launching something new. You are bound to have returns, glitches, or b*tches coming at you and it will just take away from the whole purpose of a holiday, which is to relax.
WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR BUSINESS, USE PROTECTION
Profit protection, that is.
I don’t know about you, but I quite like spending money on holidays – on the holiday. It is important though to be responsible and ensure that you forecast appropriately, and don’t undo all your hard work in your business. You want to enjoy things, but don’t put yourself under undue money stress my over spending and then coming back with a regret mindset.
If you find that finances are not your strong suit in business, you might want to read this blog about four financial stars who can help you in biz.
RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR BUSINESS
Once you have your plan in place (you can grab the checklist hereor click the image below), its’ a good idea to really think about how you will switch off from your biz, and reconnect with your self and your family. When you are that passionate about your business and what you do, switching off is really important.
Find time to do things that energise you. Staycation or vacation, create space that allows you to reconnect with the ones you love. Recharging sets you up for success with the next round of goals. Enjoy your well deserved break.
I’d love to know, when was the last time you took a holiday from your business, and how did you prepare to take a break. Drop me a line below.
Psst! Before I forget! I’m also a big fan of community – holidays or no holidays. You can also find a link to this blog over at one of my fave bloggers’ sharelinkup – Catherine of NotDressedasLamb.com