For years I’ve been dreaming of going to Europe. Sipping cappuccinos in cafes, eating croissants in France, drinking wine in Tuscany. All things that have been on my bucket list for longer than I can remember.
When our daughter announced that she planned to apply for a study abroad program last year, I was met with both excitement and full blown anxiety (just ask my sister!!).
But as soon as she was accepted into the program, 95% of the worry went away and renewing my passport became a reality.
As plans began to take shape, I started to realize that if we were going to do justice to a European vacation, we really needed to take at least 10-14 day trip.
So there I was again, back to worry.
How could I possibly take that much time off?
How could I be away from my clients for that long?
How could I make sure my Revenue Makers Mastermind members were receiving the trainings and support they needed?
How could I make sure my marketing was still running?
How could I possibly take that much time away from my business?
The excitement I’d been feeling turned back into some mini panic attacks.
You see, I absolutely LOVE having a business. My business is in fact my third child and it’s extremely hard for me to take time away from it.
And not just that, I LOVE my clients and I do everything I can to make sure they have all they need to be successful and profitable in their businesses.
So the moment we made the decision to go to Europe, I began putting together a vacation preparation plan.
A plan that meant…
- My business would run without me for two weeks
- I wouldn’t have to do any work while away (totally optional if I did)
- My clients would be taken care of and have minimal interruption while I was gone
In today’s blog post I’m covering my vacation preparation plan of the exact steps I took to prepare for being completely out of the office for two weeks and what you can do when you’re ready to take your next vacation.
The Entrepreneurial Vacation Preparation Plan
Step 1: Prepare Your Virtual Assistant and Have at Least One Team Meeting
If you don’t have a Virtual Assistant, now is the time to find one. This is the first and most critical step to being able to take time away from your business.
As soon as you know of your plans, let your VA know. Schedule at least one meeting to discuss your preparedness plan.
Make a list of everything you want them to be responsible for before you leave. Review it together and address any of their questions.
If they aren’t handling your customer service, I recommend that you have them do so. Set up an email address where clients can email them directly.
Step 2: Pre Schedule Your Social Media
While I was away sipping cappuccinos, drinking wine and enjoying the sites, my social media marketing was still running on autopilot and here’s how:
1. We created one Facebook post per day and prescheduled them in Facebook
2. We created two Twitter posts per day and prescheduled them using Hootsuite
However because I don’t prefer to pre schedule anything in Instagram, I posted daily vacation posts there.
Step 3: Write a Blog Post and Newsletter for Each Week You’re Away
Because I believe it’s important to communicate with your mailing list and provide valuable content, I don’t think you should skip sending your newsletter or blog post while you’re away.
Instead, carve out dedicated time to write (or record) them before you go.
Step 4: Let Your Clients Know You’ll Be Away
Give your clients advanced warning. Let them know how long you’ll be gone and who to contact on your team if they need any support during your absence. (This is where the customer service email address will come in handy).
Step 5: Organize Everything You Need to Do
I use a few tools and resources to stay organized.
The first is my white board that’s hung up by the side of my desk. I use it to write out everything I need to do (it’s my Brain Dumping Board) and then I transfer that into my Trello board to get track of every single To Do I need to take care of before I leave.
Take time to get everything out of your head so you don’t miss anything you need to do.
Step 6: Change Your Email and Voicemail
Don’t forget to put on your out of office messages. Give instructions on what to do or who to contact in your absence.
Step 7: Forward Your Messages and Emails to Your Virtual Assistant or Team
Set forwarding so that you don’t have to worry about checking emails. Have your assistant only contact you if there’s something they can’t handle. Otherwise, don’t check your messages.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Vacation and Don’t Check In
Now this is going to be the hardest thing you can do, but you absolutely must avoid checking in. If you’ve done a great job of setting everything up before you go, you now just need to enjoy your vacation.
Studies have shown that we all need vacation time. It’s not only ideal for your health but it will allow you to come back refreshed and excited to be working in your business again.
So to recap, here’s your Vacation Preparation Plan Checklist
- Prepare Your Virtual Assistant and Have at Least One Team Meeting
- Pre Schedule Your Social Media
- Write a Blog Post and Newsletter for Each Week You’re Away
- Let Your Clients Know You’ll Be Away
- Organize Everything You Need to Do
- Change Your Email and Voicemail
- Forward Your Messages and Emails to Your Virtual Assistant or Team Member
- Enjoy Your Vacation and Don’t Check In
Now I’d LOVE to hear from you. What do you do to prepare for your vacations? Do you find it hard to take time away? How do you handle it? Let me know in the comments below.
PS: Want to get a glimpse of my vacation? Here are some of my favorite photos from our trip:
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