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Startup Founders - 7 ways to enjoy your Holiday!
by Startacus Admin
Startup Founders - 7 ways to enjoy your Holiday!
Holiday season is almost upon us! Hooray!
That of course is great if you work for an established business and you have a process and chain of command in place to deal with your absence from work. However as a Startup Founder the reality is that your management structure may be rather flat - in fact so flat that you fear you will not be able to enjoy the holiday at all! However with this in mind (and the reality that even startup founders / employees must take breaks) we drafted up 7 things that you can do in order to hopefully make the process of taking a holiday as relaxing and stress free as possible...
Use Out of office Email
The most obvious thing that all of us and especially the Startup Founder can do is set up an out of office email. Out of office email is a function that all decent email providers should have and basically means that for every email you receive whilst on holiday the sender will receive an email back to say you are away on holiday. Most importantly you can also suggest (in your absence) other ways that the sender can deal with their email. Of course if you are involved in any customer or sales duties - this really is key to making sure that that week or two on holiday doesn't become a week long absence from business and cash flow too.
Agree set 'checking / work time'
The whole point of taking a holiday is to relax and enjoy oneself and time with friends and family. However, the moment that you start checking emails, phoning the office, texting your colleagues is the moment when that relaxation goes. If you are after peace of mind - then perhaps don't go looking for it in the first place! However if you really feel that you need to still hold some control over work matters or if you perhaps are a one person organisation - give yourself an agreed timetable of perhaps every 48 hours or so to look over emails - and reply to them too if need be. Don't just be checking emails and into the office every few hours. What type of holiday is that?!
Forewarn clients about your break
This all comes back to the idea of successful planning. If you forewarn your existing business clients that you are going on holiday, and you give those clients enough time to deal with it i.e. by not panicking or going to one of your competitors, then you might be surprised to find that most clients and contacts will respect your break and indeed welcome it, as they also understand the importance of taking a holiday.
If you're a Startup Founder of a growing business the chances are that you may have at least one or two other staff or freelancers who work for you. If the worst comes to the worst and you are half way through a project, proposal or piece of work and your holiday period arrives, try to work out how you can either keep the client happy in your absence or delegate to others to cover the work while you are away. Of course if you have a decent team they will want to rally around to help anyway.
Leading on from this - make sure to set expectations to the rest of the team (if you have one) in your absence. Setting expectations is actually a really good way of giving you peace of mind. It will help reassure you that while you are away office productivity will not wain. Also if these expectations are written down, they can be a really good way of measuring performance when you return.
Every good ship needs a good captain and every good startup Founder needs to make sure that they are always looking more than the next week ahead in terms of workload, cash flow, and projects. So if you've forward planned enough, you'll know what exactly is happening anyway. Of course, when ad hoc work comes in, or a client / issue arises while you are away, the above few options ie. Out of office email / delegation will certainly help.
What's the worst that can happen?
Consider what's the worst that can happen in your absence - is it all really that bad? Of course, the absolute worst case scenario is that the business folds or you lose a massive client while you away - but by imagining the worst case situation, you perhaps then realise that all the small concerns you have are too minor ( for a week or two) to perhaps worry about in the first place!
Of course the benefits of a holiday are too many to list here. However it's suffice to say that the holiday break that you take will more than likely help you take your business forward in the long run too.
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