I recently returned from a week’s holiday in the Lake District; we had a lovely time and I felt I really got the opportunity to switch off – well as much as you can when you run your own business.

How was I able to do this?  I planned and set expectations

Firstly, I have a fantastic team who help with both my day-to-day client work but also when I wish to go on holiday – they take over the support of my clients and with a clear handover before I leave, both myself and my clients know they are in good hands.

Next – I set up an “Out of Office” notification on email and voicemail.  In doing this it means that anyone who does contact you whilst away will know immediately that they won’t get an instant reply; the email notification politely advises that I am on holiday, checking my emails on a daily basis and that I will reply as soon as I can.   I also give the contact details of one of my team so that if it is urgent there at least one point of contact.

Finally, I allowed myself time to clear as much of my work down as I could – I advised my Clients that I would be working up until 12noon on my last day in the office.  By doing this it meant that I had the afternoon to get as much finished as I could before I did my final handover to the team.  Also, if you can it is also advised to try and do the same upon your return, e.g. leave the morning/day you return the office as clear as you can to allow yourself time to catch up on what has been happening.

If you are reading this and thinking – yeah Jill that all sounds great but I don’t have a team to handover to! I just need to put up with the family huffing and puffing each time I have to take a call or check my emails – then a VA is the answer.

We can, with the wonders of virtual technology, check your emails for you, replying where appropriate or – if you really don’t want to switch off then setting up a convenient time each day to talk through with you what has come in and what needs an action.  A simple 10 minute call to your VA will, I promise, save you time.  The emails are being checked and responded to, your voicemail directs callers to your VA who can take a message and relay to you when convenient – SORTED!

When is your next holiday – are you ready to put the plans in place now so you have a great time away?!

Contact us now to arrange your holiday cover – info@jmva.co.uk  or  01344 314 444