Taking time off as a solopreneur can seem like an almost impossible task. Following these six tips will help make the transition smooth and allow you to actually relax away from your new business
There’s a right way and a wrong way to take time off from work as a business owner. Make sure you’re doing it properly and tying up all of your loose ends to avoid client frustration or losing potential customers.
- Communicate with your clients early
- Set a pre-vacation announcement at the footer of your email
- Set an “out of office” response in your business email + your website form submission confirmations
- Work ahead as much as possible
- Automate and schedule as much as possible
- Lean on your network
Communicate with your clients early
Give them at least a month’s notice if you can, but certainly no less than 2 weeks. If it’s during the holidays, remember, chances are they want to take time off, too!
Remind current clients and let potential clients and collaborators know as often as possible without being annoying about it.
Set an “out of office” response in your business email + your website form submission confirmations
The email bit may seem obvious, but many people neglect the form confirmation notices. If a potential new client reaches out for information or to start the onboarding process and they don’t hear from you for two weeks, chances are they’re going to look elsewhere. Take the extra step to communicate with potential clients that you are taking some much needed time off and will return refreshed at whatever date. Feel free to give yourself a buffer here, so you can catch up on other tasks that may have piled up before responding to new inquiries.
Work ahead as much as possible
If you are responsible for tasks that will come to light while you’re out of the office, like creating content for social media, as an example, create as much as you can ahead of time. This may mean longer hours before vacation.
Automate and schedule as much as possible
You can now easily schedule emails, social media posts, blogs to be published, podcasts to drop, etc. Utilize automation software like Zapier to automate actions between apps and services. For example: you can set it to auto reply to Slack messages and mentions, or turn emails into Trello task cards.
Lean on your network
We highly recommend finding another service provider in your niche to collaborate with. You can refer overflow work to each other and help cover if your client has an urgent issue while you’re on vacation.
Take the time off!
Being completely frazzled and burned out from work does no one any favors. You cannot give your best to your clients and you will likely be miserable. All of this can add up to poor performance and lost business. Giving yourself a chance to recharge your mind and body will help you to serve your clients and yourself in a much more effective and positive way. You don’t need to be a hero—take the time off. Your clients and yourself deserve it.
Matthew Ogden is a Minneapolis-based copywriter and content writer and editor. He’s written for national retailers and lobster roll companies alike. When not writing he can be found nose deep in a book, writing and performing music, or nerding out about guitar tone.