automation while on vacation

Systems Automation While On Vacation

I love to travel. I love to vacation even more. Many business owners never take a vacation because they are afraid they will miss something important. With systems automation of your business, you don’t need to be one of those people.

Prevention Magazine indicates that people who take vacations are happier, healthier, feel younger, and reduce their risk of heart attack by up to fifty percent.

I’ve gone to a lot of remote places during my RV travels. Let me be the first to tell you that the wireless network is not everywhere. If there is a dead spot, I will find it. Once I was at a campground in Clarion County, which while not primitive by any means would not allow for cell reception without climbing a mountain. 

Luckily for me, I have some good systems automation in place, so my business is working for me.

Here are some tips I find helpful when planning to take a vacation from your business.

 Be Realistic

When you work for someone else, you are normally able to forget about work during your vacation. However, as a small business owner, disconnecting entirely is impossible. To have a stress free vacation, you need to be intentional about the amount of time you use for work. 

A good rule of thumb is to set aside an hour or two per day to spend responding to messages and checking on social media accounts. Don’t feel like you need to address every email in your inbox. Only respond to those that include a critical issue or task. If there is nothing urgent, close the email program and get back to relaxation.

Systems automation for your email account can help here. Setting up filters and auto-responders will do half the work for you. This way you can weed out what messages to address right away and what can wait.

Get Organized

When my daughter got married, we went to Las Vegas. The travel agent provided us with all the details and items we needed for the travel trip, and the event planner gave us the outline of tasks to do before our arrival. These things reminded me of tip two.

Start a list of things you absolutely must get done before you go. So that you are sure to get all the items done before you leave, you need to prioritize. Take care of the most important things, For example, write out and schedule your blog posts for the week of vacation and the week after. Doing this will allow you peace of mind before, during and after.

The beauty of WordPress is that you can draft and schedule content release. Use that as a base for system automation of your content marketing. Plan ahead and let your website do the work for you.

Build Your Team

The best thing we did in Vegas was getting the event planner. By engaging with her connections, we were able to make plans and enjoy things we would not have considered if we did not have the additional ideas and recommendations. An excellent reminder for tip three.

As you can see from the tips so far, systems automation is not just about technology but making things work like a well-oiled machine. Having a team or a partner of experts will allow you some clear mind space to enjoy your vacation. 

I have a general admin virtual assistant whom I can have to monitor my email and social media and send me a daily update of items that need to be addressed immediately. She also is a backup to the little tasks that could be addressed while I am sitting poolside. 

I have a project management system so I can also have her add and schedule all the items that need to be done. My system allows tasks to be assigned to any member of my team, so I only need to look in one place to make sure everyone is on schedule and if not send them a quick note to please follow up with the client.

Pick Your Go To Tools

When you spend time in varying places, you learn to rely on tools and apps that make life all that much easier. When thinking about the system automation processes you have also built think about tools you can use to make those tasks work for you.

One of my other favorites is canned responses in my Google Apps mail. If you have messages or responses that are the same time after time, you can create a canned response.  I use Acuity to schedule all my appointments and consultations so whenever someone asks to meet with me I have a standard response that includes the link to the calendar.

With a few clicks and a little personalization, I can send someone my availability so that they can find the most convenient time in their schedule to make the appointment. Better yet, while I am away, this is a task that I can hand off to my support team.

These are just a few of the tools I use in my everyday business.

Go Mobile

If you are a virtual business, you should consider mobilization. There are many quality SAAS or cloud programs that allow you to access information from a variety of devices. There is no reason that you cannot access your documents, update your website or even send a client an invoice.

These mobile or cloud programs are vital to systems automation to make everything seamless across all devices.

My all-time favorite mobile program is Evernote. The amount of information I can store in my notebooks is astounding. Couple that with Dropbox and I always have access to my files and notes when that client emergency arises.

The best part of these programs is that they have easy sharing capabilities. If you need to hand off an item while enjoying your downtime you only need to send your team member or backup person a link to the folder and let then have easy access to notes and files.

Because I embrace automation and technology, you are reading this while I am visiting a winery somewhere. Part of this mini trip is that after enjoying the day with friends tasting I can go back, build a fire and enjoy the rest of the evening with good food and great company while my business runs itself.

Still not sure how to prepare your business for time away or vacations? Let’s chat and design a systems automation plan for you.