Recently, I’ve taken an extended break from my business to take a three week trip travelling through Thailand with my family. This holiday has been on the cards for some time as my husband and I were meant to go to Thailand for our honeymoon 15 years ago. However, my daughter was born 20 weeks after the wedding, so the trip was postponed. It took a long time to reschedule but this year was the year the adventure would happen!
In preparation for the trip, I dedicated a lot of time and effort to refine our business processes and also building and training the team to ensure that things could run as smoothly as possible whilst I was away. There were a number of steps I chose to follow to ensure the business could continue to trade successfully and I thought I would share them with you:
- Delegate Responsibilities
Assign tasks and responsibilities to capable team members or managers who can handle operations in your absence.
- Document Processes
Create detailed process documentation for essential tasks, procedures, and workflows, making it easier for others to step in and manage operations.
- Empower Decision-Making
Empower your team to make certain decisions within defined boundaries, enabling them to address issues and keep things running smoothly.
- Hire a Reliable Team
Build a dependable team who can handle day-to-day operations and make informed decisions in your absence.
- Implement Technology
Utilise tools and technology for remote management, communication, and monitoring of key business metrics.
Cross-train the team so they can fill in for each other during absences, ensuring flexibility and continuity.
- Regular Check-ins
Stay connected through regular check-ins, providing guidance and support when needed.
- Emergency Plans
Develop contingency plans for unexpected events, outlining steps to manage crises and maintain business operations.
- Establish Key Contacts
Maintain relationships with key suppliers, clients, and partners and ensure they know who to contact in your absence.
- Clear Communication
Inform customers about your absence in advance and provide alternative points of contact.
By introducing these steps and tailoring them to the specific needs of your business, you can create a comprehensive plan that allows your business to continue trading successfully even when you’re away. Regularly review and update your plan to ensure its effectiveness over time and you can take well-earned breaks too, safe in the knowledge that your business is thriving.