Summer is here and it is a time when many of us travel with friends and family. When you go on vacation, do you find yourself still working and having difficulty truly unplugging during that time away? When owning a small business, it can feel incredibly difficult to truly take time off.
You might not yet have a team of people working with you that you can assign tasks to while you are out of the office. Even if you have an amazing team, there are certain tasks you do as the owner that only you can do…or not?
Taking a vacation as a small business owner requires planning and forethought, but it is possible! Not only is it possible, but it is important for your mental health. Owning a nanny agency can often be demanding and emotionally taxing. We all need time to unwind so we can come back refreshed and excited about our businesses again.
Here are some tips when planning a vacation as an agency owner:
- Let current clients know you will be on vacation and who to contact if they need anything. Also make sure to put an away message on your email with who to contact if someone you aren’t currently working with reaches out. If you don’t currently have a team and someone your clients can contact while you are away, just put the dates you will be gone and when you will be able to respond. Don’t forget to also put an out of office message on your voicemail!
- If possible, plan vacations during your slow periods of business. This is tricky because summers can often be some of the busiest months for nanny agencies and that is also when many of us like to take vacations! If you are taking a vacation during a time of year when you are typically busy, make sure you communicate with your team so your vacations aren’t overlapping.
- Set vacation boundaries for yourself. Think about your vacation before you go and set some boundaries as to when and how much you plan to work (if at all!). Some trips it might be a more relaxed vacation where you can check in on your email and team in the morning for an hour or so. Some vacations it might be very difficult to work based on where you are staying, WIFI, and activities planned. It’s important to think these things through before you go so you aren’t feeling overwhelmed without a plan once you are there. Once you set your boundaries, stick to them as best as possible! There will always be things that have to be resolved right away but if it isn’t a pressing matter, hold off on responding to that email or voicemail until you are back in the office.
- Prepare ahead of time. The couple of weeks leading up to your vacation, you might have to put in some extra hours to make sure you are ahead of the game before you leave. This also means communicating with your team to let them know what you have in the works, any follow-ups or tasks you need them to work on while you are out or any potential issues that may arise (and what to do if that happens!)
- Plan out auto posts to your social media accounts. If you run your social media accounts, as many nanny agency owners do, don’t forget to plan out some content to auto post while you are gone. You can use programs like Hootsuite or Planoly to plan out auto-posts while you are away. That way you won’t feel stressed about posting while you are gone and worried about not getting any new content up for several days.
- Give yourself some buffer time when you get home. Try to not schedule meetings and phone calls for first thing in the morning on your first day back to work. Opening your inbox to a ton of emails can be stressful and you can quickly get overwhelmed if you have meetings scheduled and you don’t have time to catch up. Ease into your day by giving yourself a few hours in the morning to answer emails and get back into the swing of things.
Take that vacation and enjoy your time away! We truly need the time to unplug so we can de-stress and re-energize ourselves to come home and be excited again about running our businesses.
Bayly Silverman is CEO and Founder of Your Happy Nest Nanny & Babysitting Agency which operates in Atlanta and Augusta, GA, Charleston, SC and Cincinnati, OH. Your Happy Nest was founded in 2012 in Atlanta, GA and her agency has since helped hundreds of families find trusted and professional nannies, newborn care specialists and babysitters.