How To Take A Holiday From Your BusinessDec 07, 2021
By Claire Whittaker.
As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to slowing down. Especially after last year, this December is a time for seeing family and friends and drinking mulled wine or cider! Anything mulled, I’m all in!
However, it can be hard to step back for the holidays as a business owner. You know that taking a break is something you need, but how will your business run without you?
If this situation sounds familiar to you, then you’re in the right place. Today I’m sharing three steps you can implement today that will help you step back from day to day running of your business. Putting these things in place will help you feel confident in taking more breaks from your business without the stress of feeling like you have to keep checking your emails.
Step 1: Create SOPs (standard operating procedures)
I know what you’re thinking; creating SOPs isn’t the sexiest of things to do. Or maybe you believe that you’re a creative business so that nothing can is standard.
I’m here to tell you that’s not true.
Standardising your processes will help you to delegate more effectively in your business. You will also clarify your procedures by getting things out of your head and into a document. This clarity on the steps will also help you to work more efficiently.
It’s a win-win!
When creating your SOPs, I recommend that you start by just listing out the critical steps in order.
Once these are done, add links to specific tools and resources needed to complete the process.
Once you have that basic structure in place, you can add in other sections to help give more clarity:
Goal - what is the purpose of your process
KPIs - how will you measure the success of the process
FAQs - a section to add in common questions people have when completing the process
Not got time to write this all out? Then record yourself completing the task. The key is to start documenting what you’re doing so others can do it.
Step 2: Practice Proactive Communication
The second stage in stepping back in your business is proactive communication. Let your team and your clients know ahead of time when you plan to be out of the office.
Create a plan so everyone knows what to expect while you’re away. This plan should include details on what activities will continue and stop. There should also be details on communication processes while you’re away, for example, who to contact instead and when to expect a response.
The more proactively you can do this, the more confident people will be.
The critical thing is to let people know that they’re not alone. Build confidence in your team and your clients by showing that everything is under control.
Step 3: Use Automation To Keep Things Running
Automation used right is like an extra employee who can work 24/7 without taking a holiday or getting sick.
These days it’s so easy to access automation tools. So there’s no excuse not to be automating in your business.
But a word to the wise - not all automations are going to make you more productive.
When looking for things to automate:
Think about repetitive tasks - For example, an excellent job to start automating is transferring data between different tools.
Things that you forget to do - I love to automate reminders to follow up with prospects.
Things that don’t require human input - it’s hard to automate content creation, but you could automate scheduling.
As you get more comfortable with automation, you will run your business increasingly efficiently.
The fewer things you have on your plate, the easier it becomes to step back.
To summarise, when preparing to take a holiday from your business, do the following:
1. Create SOPs so others can pick up your tasks
2. Proactively communicate your plans with your team and clients
3. Automate as much as possible, so there is less on your plate
4. Enjoy your break! You deserve it
Claire Whittaker is the Founder of Artificially Intelligent Consulting (AIC) and is on a mission to empower 1000 purpose-driven entrepreneurs & agencies to scale to 7-figures without having to sacrifice everything else that makes life fun.
A systems and automation specialist, Claire never sacrifices work for fun, has a razor-sharp eye for structure and loves nothing more than a Sunday roast and a margarita. You can find out all about her here.
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