Vacation tips for small business owners from small business owners. Vend Raleigh Mompreneurs share tips to manage business while you are away on summer vacation.
I own 3 small businesses and am very active with social marketing with all three. I travel internationally for mission work with limited or no internet connection a couple times a year and have a practice that I follow for those times. As much as I love social media, I do enjoy those weeks of unplugging, a much needed break! I usually set email auto-responders starting and ending a couple days longer than I need. This important emails that come in early, I can take care of without having to deal with the unimportant details. When I return, I’ve given myself a buffer if I’m overwhelmed by emails. I remind my readers/fans that I’ll be away but stating all orders after a certain date will be shipped the week after I return. I do schedule a few posts to run while I’m unplugged, but honestly I’m mostly missing from social media. I think this is a good reminder to my followers that I am a person! This is a great way to connect with fans, build relationships with them by showing your personal side and telling them more about you! I always have someone watching my social media accounts for spammers while I’m away, I give them full access with passwords to go in and manage any situations that might come up.
The week’s Vend Raleigh Leadership Call was full of tips for managing business with the unusual schedule summer gives us. Clare Luffman of Dream Unlimited, Gaye Esser of Redefine Balance and Susan Newnam of Initials, inc. joined me as we talked about how we manage our schedules when we are busy with summer travel and the kids being home.
Vend Raleigh Mompreneurs tell how they manage vacations:
As the sole owner and operator of Traci Huffman Photography I find “real vacations” almost impossible. I would love to shut down all of my work and social media, but the truth is that does not happen for me, at least not yet. The fact that Traci Huffman Photography is still in it’s beginning stages and I am constantly working on building my brand makes it that much more important that I stay connected to any potential clients, current clients, and all social media. An automated response to messages is not an option for me right now because part of booking and working with a client is connecting with them on a personal level. There are so many wonderful photographers in the area that it is crucial to try and be the first to respond and connect. It is also important to stay on top of all of my current sessions and work to get them to my clients as promised. My plan for vacations is to allot specific times for work only and the remainder of the time I will focus on my loved ones and relaxing. (Ha! Do Mom’s really ever relax on vacation?!) We shall see how this plan works out as I am headed to the beach as we speak for some family time…this will be the real test! –Traci Huffman
When HandmadeJILLry goes on vacation, I typically state nothing will ship until a certain date (usually two days after I return home). However, I do not stop making JILLry or close my shop. I take my JILLry making supplies with me, just not my shipping supplies. –Jill Markijohn
For me, it all depends on where I’m going and for how long. When I go away for a weekend or extended weekend, I usually just leave both of my businesses open and reply to emails as the need arises. I might not be quite as speedy as usual (I’m probably getting to concentrate on the emails after my daughter has gone to sleep) but I still keep up. However, if I’m gone for more than 5 days or travel with just my iPhone and iPad, I close my Etsy shop. And if I go anywhere with crummy cell phone service, a lack of internet or that’s worth having an assistant monitor my email for inquiries, I do just that! Three years ago we took a 10 day trip all of over Italy, and although I did check my email most evenings because our hotels had wifi, I really just verified that they had been addressed. It was a delightful break, but a bit confusing coming home and catching up on the conversations! –Carrie Richardson Fry, cr2f Etsy Shop and Richardson Fry Photography