Are you rapidly coming to the realisation that in order for you to have a proper holiday this year, you are going to need some help?
It is better to figure this out now than at the end of next week. While it is unlikely you are going to recruit and induct your “forever” assistant today, there are some quick fix options if you need a human-face to your business during your absence:
1) First of all, spend some time identifying the tasks that need doing while you are away and estimate who much time these jobs take
2) Look within your business – is there someone you can empower to take on these responsibilities while you are away? Or someone (casual staff/intern) who has helped you out already this year who has some existing insight into your business
3) Reach out to your existing network – there may be someone right under your nose who can hold the fort while you take a break. There is great comfort in having some connection to the person. Let your nearest and dearest know and get them to spread the word (quickly!!!).
5) Consider virtual help – there are virtual receptionist services where you can divert your business phone, have your emails periodically checked or any other matters attended to.
6) Contact a temp agency – if you need an actual person physically manning the desk for you then this is probably the most costly of the services but you get what you pay for. You will be provided with an experienced, thoroughly screened temp who is managed and monitored by their agency while you are away.
Get them in for a run-through before you go away. Be very, very clear about what your expectations are, what you want to be contacted about (and what you don’t!).
Hopefully you already have a business procedures document prepared to use for a handover. No? Do you have time to do it now? Probably not but you are going to have to pull together some instructions before the end of next week. I suggest you use a program like Jing – it’s a really easy way to record these tasks.
Don’t freak out at your lack of documentation – you are one of many business owners in the same situation. It’s one of those things that doesn’t seem important until you need it (bit like business insurance…you have got that haven’t you?). Put this job on your list as a priority task for when you get back in January. Without documented systems and procedures you can not expect your business to fully function without you. This is something I can talk through and help you with further – drop me a line for more info.