5 steps to stress-free time off from your business

Have you put vacation plans (or any time off) on hold because you ARE your company and its success rests entirely on your shoulders? You might want to rethink your plans.

1. Create your lists.
While you may think you can’t afford any time off, life happens. When a family emergency means you’ll be away from your business, you’ll be glad you have a list for
• Customer and vendor contact information
• When and what bills are due
• Ongoing projects and their status
• Login and password information for your online accounts

2. Plan ahead.
Let your customers know you will be unavailable and do everything you can for them ahead of time.

3. Stand firm.
Don’t let poor planning on someone else’s part create an emergency for you. If you give in to “just one little thing” while on vacation or on your days off, you can be pretty sure that customer will continue to disregard your boundaries in the future, too.

4. Automate.
Although you still have to create the content, you can automate
• Bill payment
• Blog post publication
• E-mail responses (either with an out-of-office message or contact information)
• E-mail newsletter distribution
• Invoicing
• Phone answering
• Posting to social networks—as if you weren’t away NOT announcing your absence
• Thanking customers for a purchase

5. Hire help.
You can hire someone to handle business administration or to create and post fresh online content for you.

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