Here is an important question to ask yourself: How long has it been since you last had a vacation? If you need to put any thought into it, it has probably been far too long. Time away from work revitalizes us and keeps us energized and passionate about what we do. Vacations can be the perfect time to reconnect with your family and friends, see new places, or simple to explore some of your old habits like camping, hiking, skydiving… But the little voice in the back of your head is probably saying “But I am the only one who is holding my business together! I can’t take a break, everything will fall apart!” How do you quiet that little voice? By hiring a virtual assistant to take care of your business while you are away!
You may already be aware of some of the tasks that a virtual assistant can do for your business. Update your website, help write content for blog posts, create email campaigns, these are all valuable services, however, a professional virtual assistant can do far more for you. By hiring a virtual assistant to take care of your business for a week or so, you can go on vacation with peace of mind, knowing that everything is being taken care of. Are you still feeling a bit nervous? Here are a few suggestions to get everything moving smoothly before your next vacation:
- Hire Long Before You Need Them
Hiring a virtual assistant just a few days before you take off to the Caribbean will probably stress both you and the virtual assistant out. A virtual assistant needs some time to learn the ins and outs of your business to give you the best possible service. If you know that you are planning a vacation this summer, hire a virtual assistant now. Even if it is only to take a couple of tasks off your daily to-do list, such as social media. That way you can see the quality of service they provide and can build up a relationship with them so you can feel comfortable leaving your business in their hands for a few weeks.
- Prepare Your Clients
It can be important to give your clients plenty of heads up that you are going to be out of contact for a few days/weeks. Keeping them in the loop about you hiring a virtual assistant will calm their worries about you being out of the office. “Introduce” the virtual assistant to your clients with their name, maybe some of their experience, and make sure that they know the virtual assistant has your trust. This way if something pops up that they need immediate assistant with, your clients will feel reassured that nothing is going to fall through the cracks while you are away.
- Have an ICE (in case of emergency) Plan
Although a professional virtual assistant can handle many situations, it is important that you have a line of communication between you in case an emergency comes up that requires your direct intervention. So before leaving make sure the virtual assistant has your hotel phone number, your cell number, email address, or other methods of contacting you. Make clear what merits a “contact me if…” situation, so you can relax knowing that, unless you get a call, everything is fine. No need to interrupt your vacation to check in every day.
- How Can You Help Me?
This falls into the “Well, as long as I have them…” category of thinking. Do you have any projects that you have been putting off because they are too much work and you just don’t have the time? Do you have projects that you have a visual idea of how you want it to go, but no idea how to get there? Imagine how great it would be to return from your vacation to find that project finished. Many virtual assistants are perfectly qualified to handle larger scale projects for you. So as long as you have already hired them to take care of the business, find out what other tasks you can hire them for as well! This happens to me all of the time, someone will hire me to do one thing (such as creating and implementing a social media strategy) and before you know it, I am helping them with a dozen other areas of their business!
If you need any other reason to hire a virtual assistant to take care of your business while you are away, consider this. Imagine coming home from a wonderful summer vacation. You are relaxed, refreshed, smiling and happy for the first time in months. You sit down at your desk, open your email… and discover 500 or more emails demanding your attention. Not to mention bills that need paying, social media that needs to be posted, a longer than ever to-do list, and a lot of administrative tasks waiting for your attention. Can you already feel your well-earned relaxation slip way from you? With a virtual assistant, this won’t be a problem, everything will have been already handled! You can come home to a blank slate, ready to start fresh and excited to expand and scale your business!