Who wants to go on vacation and be worrying about their business back home? Doesn’t it spoil the point of the relaxing time away from the office, if you’re sitting on the beach calling to the office or answering emails? How can you manage the business while on vacation without feeling like you’re still tied to work?

  • Leave someone in charge. If there is a trusted employee, a “number two” in charge of the office situation, things run smoothly while you’re away. If that person is empowered to make all but “board approval needed” decisions, and can take care of daily events, sitting on the beach is actually relaxing. A business with good employees who know their jobs can typically function well for a while, so let it do so. If they know who to contact for problems, the company will function well. Prudent delegation greatly improves your peace of mind while away.
  • Pay bills ahead of time. Pay off any bills which might fall due during the time you’re out of the office. That way no one has to worry about that item, and you’re not thinking about rushing back to make sure a bill gets paid in time. It’s better to do that than leave behind a blank check or two – that would be just asking for trouble. But if you know all the bills are accounted for that needed to be paid, it’s one more worry out of the way.
  • Have someone check your email. Who wants to come back to the office to an inbox that is stuffed with two weeks of unanswered emails? Have an administrative assistant or a trusted person in charge check your email and clear out action items you have authorized them to handle. You may just want to forward all your email to that person, to simplify things. If they see something that needs your immediate attention, they can send it to you.
  • Stay in touch – lightly. While you’re away, you’ve arranged to have important emails sent to you. You have a trusted employee in charge of the office and able to make daily decisions. So just check in with the office – but only occasionally – every couple of days is often enough. If you’re running a company, you’re mostly likely a Type A person who will have trouble letting go. So if you call the office and no one sounds panicked, you can go ahead and relax during your vacation.
  • Take a trial run. Take off a day or two and just sit at home, before taking a long vacation far away from the office. Activate everything discussed above, and then see how the process works. With prudent preparation up front, things will run smoothly. One company was compelled to make an unexpected test of their procedures – the boss went down with a burst appendix. The necessary processes were already in place, the company functioned smoothly. There were checks to be signed, but the number two employee arranged to have a member of the board of directors sign them, so no bills got missed. It would certainly be preferable to have the trial run be scheduled, but it is nice to see proper planning pay off.

Forethought and planning allows things to run smoothly at your company while you’re on vacation. With solid procedures in place, you can sit back and finally relax when you’re on the beach!

This is a guest post by Sarah of Premier Packaging; a provider of any and all retail packaging a small business could ever need.