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10 Steps for Vacation Planning and Your Business Needs

Follow these 10 steps to ensure it’s all business as usual for your company  while you are enjoying your vacation.

Image of two people relaxing on a beach because they have taken steps for vacation planning and their business needs

Summer draws near, and that means it’s time for vacation planning.  Yahoooooo!  Vacations are great. And nobody is going to challenge that statement.  But coming back to 15 million emails and piles of work will make you feel like running away again. It’s tough to really kick back and re-energize when your thoughts are back at the office as you wonder how things are going without you there.

Proper planning can help alleviate  these problems and enable you to truly relax and enjoy your vacation.  Here are a few helpful tips to ensure the work that needs to get done while you are away will actually get done.

  1. Notify your telephone answering service and/or call center representative to ensure that your phones will be forwarded properly, your messages will be taken and delivered timely and accurately to the right person in your absence.
  2. Make sure your answering service has an alternate contact to reach out to in the event of an emergency that cannot go without attention. You don’t want major caller issues going unaddressed just because you are comfortable on a beach somewhere.
  3. If you don’t have a telephone answering service, and your phones, customers, or messages may be impacted by your absence, then think about signing up for a temporary, short term service.  It may come in handy and the peace of mind a great telephone answering service can provide you will be invaluable. You might even decide to continue using the service after you return!
  4. You want to be sure the daily work flow is not interrupted.  Make sure that taking a vacation doesn’t hamper, impede, or stop the daily business transactions necessary to keep your company humming along by identifying those transactions that will need to be completed in your absence.
  5. Identify how you will delegate the responsibility and those tasks you identified in step four above. You need to be able to trust in those around you to carry the load and do an effective job while you’re away.
  6. Make sure your delegates understand what needs to be done, how to do it, and any deadlines that may apply.
  7. In preparation of your vacation, don’t shy away from putting in extra hours before you leave to ensure that work expected to be done will be completed.  And putting in extra hours before you leave on deliverables that you need to have completed within a week of your return is a great way to get a head start on those items.  That way when you come back, you’ll already be ahead of the game, and if you plan it just right, those deliverables will go out on time as expected after your return.
  8. Have a couple of meetings with your staff to ensure everyone is on the same page and everyone knows who is doing what.  This is also a good time to ensure their team mentality is in place so they can help each other if/when necessary.
  9. Write an auto-reply email letting people know you are out on vacation and let them know when you will return.  Don’t forget to provide alternate contact information referring to them to others that may be able to help and/or answer questions for them while you’re gone.
  10. Decide if you need to check in with the team while you are on vacation. Some people need to totally unplug from work and that’s fine. Others can’t fully relax unless they know things are going well back at the office. So decide if or how often you need to check in, but keep it to a minimum. At most, all you’ll really need is 5 minutes every day or two, because you’ve put in lots of work up front to ensure that things keep running smoothly while you’re away.

When planning for vacations, proper delegation will be key, and there is one rule when delegating responsibility or work:  Delegation does not mean abdication.  Just because you delegate something doesn’t mean you get to abdicate accountability and responsibility.

So, go on vacation, go surfing, go sailing, go touring, have a blast, and don’t forget to bring back plenty of pictures to show everyone!

Carry on, carry over…

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