Ep. 92: Taking a Break from Your Business
And now we're back (from outer space...or summer break)! We took a full two months off from our business and guess what? It didn't crash and the world didn't end! In this episode, we're talking about Taking a Break from Your Business, giving you tips to plan for a break, and advice for coming back without losing your mind!
TAKING A BREAK FROM YOUR BUSINESS
There are two types of breaks - planned and unplanned. Unplanned breaks can be anything from natural disasters to a death or illness in the family.
Planned breaks are things like family vacation time or maternity leave. These are the kinds of breaks we will be talking about in this week's episode, specifically.
PLANNING FOR A BREAK
1. Make sure your CAN take a break.
Can you afford it financially? Will your business continue to run in your absence? If you're fairly new to your business, you may not be in a place where you can realistically take time off right now. If not, plan for it in the future and work towards it as a goal!
2. Prepare your business for your break.
Determine what still needs to run while you're on your break. Consider things like social media, emails, blog posts, Facebook group posts, and passive income products.
3. Communicate your absence in advance.
Make sure you let your clients, customers, and audience know well in advance not only when you'll be taking a break, but also when you're coming back. They should also know what to expect from you during your absence.
4. Honor your existing clients.
If you have any projects in the works, make sure you finish the work before taking time off. Let your clients know how they can get in touch with you while you're gone and what your response time will be.
5. Utilize canned and automated emails.
Create canned emails that you can quickly send as responses when necessary. Also set up an autoresponder to let people know you're "out of the office" and that you will get back to you when you return. Again, include a return date. (See our advice on coming back from a break first!)
6. Have an emergency contact and plan.
Find someone outside of your business whom you trust to have access to your login information and systems. Keep your client contact information updated and let your emergency contact know how to find it and what to do in case of an emergency.
COMING BACK FROM A BREAK
Coming back from a vacation or an extended break can be a bit chaotic if not handled properly. Take a moment and breathe, then plan for a good comeback!
1. Schedule extra time "off" for an email/housekeeping day.
Just because you're home doesn't mean you are back to work. Take at least one day before announcing that you're officially back at work to tackle your inbox, put out any fires, and do general administrative work.
2. Research platforms and industry news before coming back.
Especially if you've been absent for a while, you might not recognize some of the platforms you use often for your business, or big announcements in your industry may have taken place. Here is a real life example: During our two-month break, BoardBooster, a Pinterest scheduling tool, closed its doors, and Dubsado, our CRM, made some major updates to their system.
3. Evaluate your goals and content strategy.
Maybe you have some revelations or big ideas about your business during your vacation. Take a look at your goals and determine how to move forward.
4. Acknowledge your season of life.
Particularly if you've had a baby or had some other life change, your season of life may be different than before your break. Acknowledge it and accept it, then ease yourself into a new routine.
5. Plan your next break!
Breaks are good for the mind, body, and spirit, so when you come back from a break, start planning your next one!