Summer holidays are nearly here and temptation to have a break is growing. The countdown before those deserved holidays is in full swing. A little bit more patience and you will soon be able to really enjoy a relaxing break. It is time to empty your mind and re-charge your batteries. Are you an entrepreneur or a small business? Then there is a certain number of elements to consider and sort out before leaving. At least, if you want to avoid the rushes of stress on the first few days after you return from your holidays. In this article, we list seven things not to forget about.
Make sure you:
Upon your return, you certainly don’t want to be confronted to reminders from suppliers for one or several invoices you haven’t paid yet. Make sure you schedule your payments for incoming invoices, so they are paid on time. Appoint a trustworthy person as well, who’s responsible and has the authority to make urgent payments (potentially limited to a certain amount). Nothing is more annoying than one of your employees being obliged to inform a supplier that payments cannot be made in the absence of the manager who’s on holiday. A delayed payment has a negative impact on your payment behaviour and damages your reputation.
A manager on annual leave, when no one else is allowed to make payments, is one of the most widely used excuses to defer the payment of an invoice. However, this is no reason for the economy and the business world to stop working.
Make sure you set up an Out-of-Office message for all incoming emails. That way, all your contacts will be informed that you are on annual leave and will know that you are not ignoring them (i.e. for an urgent payment for instance).
In your automatic message, indicate the contact details of the employee who will be dealing with your files while you are away and whom the senders can be referred to for urgent matters.
Make sure that your employees know the customer onboarding process. Do not forget to give them access to the relevant tools for them to verify the exact solvency of a prospect or a customer when they place a new order. This is part of your credit management duties that you shouldn’t neglect at any time.
It is vital for your business that you designate someone responsible for the control of incoming payments and the follow-up of invoices pending payments. It can be an employee (working part-time), but it can also be outsourced to a specialised contractor. In any case, do not neglect the management of your debtors while you are away. If a client doesn’t hear from you for a number of weeks, it is likely you will have to re-assert your credibility.
Even while on holidays, a business owner is rarely able to resist the temptation to check their emails. Or to even briefly ask an employee how things are. Roaming cost have been significantly reduced within the EU these past few years. However, the bill can still increase if you travel outside the EU. So, don’t forget to deactivate your roaming mobile data if you go to Switzerland for instance. Search for Wi-Fi accesses and any other places where you can access the internet for free. If you often go abroad, it is useful to know which mobile contract is the best one on the market, so you can save money on the long term.
If you have done all you could to attract visitors on your website thanks to blog posts, downloads, and social media messages, it is recommended not to neglect those social media networks while you are away. Make sure that your new articles are ready to be published. There are enough (free) tools on the market to allow you to plan and schedule at the click of a button.
The most important point is for you to enjoy your holidays. As a manager, it may be difficult for your mind to fully disconnect. However, everyone deserves to have a break to catch one’s breath. Even you. Make sure to sort out as many things as possible (if not all) before you go. Surround yourself with people you can trust and who are capable of dealing with things in your absence.
If you really can’t resist it, save one hour a day to deal with some business. That way, you will be able to enjoy the remaining time as much as possible and to recharge your batteries.
Good luck and enjoy your holidays!