Tips & Talk 17 – What To Do with Your Online Biz While on Vacation

Family on Beach VacationRunning your own business doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all life has to offer. And part of that is taking time away for yourself, your family and your customers.

Relaxing breaks away are rejuevenating and even allow for renewed creativity and excitement for your business. Here’s how to do this without losing customers and sales.

CONNECT with me here:

WebsiteFacebookInstagram

JOIN our FREE Gift Biz Breeze Facebook Group specially for handmade product makers.

SUBSCRIBE to the podcast so you automatically receive your new episodes right when they air – no waiting!

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

PAY IT FORWARD by leaving a rating and review.

I’d love to hear your comments. Tell me how the show has helped you or a specific guest or point that had an impact. You can do that right here.

Thanks for listening!

Transcript
Speaker:

Hi there.

Speaker:

It's Sue.

Speaker:

And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

Speaker:

These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

Speaker:

things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

Speaker:

If you'd like to submit a topic,

Speaker:

DME, over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped,

Speaker:

you want to go on vacation.

Speaker:

What do you do about your online product business?

Speaker:

And can you even go on vacation when you're in business

Speaker:

for yourself?

Speaker:

This was the good thing.

Speaker:

When you used to work for somebody else,

Speaker:

when you were ready to go on vacation,

Speaker:

you just put in your notice for time off you maybe

Speaker:

planned a few things so that everything would run smoothly.

Speaker:

In your absence.

Speaker:

Maybe you train some colleagues on some of the things that

Speaker:

need to take place while you're gone.

Speaker:

And then you just went off.

Speaker:

You could leave without a worry on your mind,

Speaker:

but everything changes when you work for yourself and you deserve

Speaker:

a vacation,

Speaker:

you need a vacation,

Speaker:

but how do you manage this?

Speaker:

If you run a retail shop,

Speaker:

then there are some obvious things that you would need to

Speaker:

do. You're either going to close down your shop.

Speaker:

If you're the only one or you have your employees take

Speaker:

control or someone that you trust,

Speaker:

run the shop in your absence.

Speaker:

That's not where we're going to talk about today.

Speaker:

What we're going to talk about today,

Speaker:

our online shops and how do you take a vacation and

Speaker:

still keep up the momentum,

Speaker:

keep your customers and get sales.

Speaker:

When you're not there to manage the day to day,

Speaker:

let's start with the reason why you want to be going

Speaker:

on vacation.

Speaker:

It's important to you and your business that you take time

Speaker:

off. And I didn't always do this years ago.

Speaker:

Now I'm struggling to even remember how long maybe it's even

Speaker:

been 12,

Speaker:

15 years ago or so when I had a gift basket

Speaker:

business, I don't think I took time off for three or

Speaker:

four years running no vacations,

Speaker:

no going away for family Thanksgiving,

Speaker:

nothing. I would not leave.

Speaker:

And that was absolutely totally the wrong thing to do.

Speaker:

I felt deprived of time with family.

Speaker:

I felt drained to be very honest,

Speaker:

a little bit resentful because I felt like I was tied.

Speaker:

It was almost,

Speaker:

I won't even say it was golden necessarily,

Speaker:

but it was like being handcuffed to the business.

Speaker:

I loved having my business,

Speaker:

but I didn't like feeling so tied to it where I

Speaker:

couldn't even take a vacation and relationship started suffering.

Speaker:

So learn from my experience.

Speaker:

You want to be taking vacations first off.

Speaker:

It helps you.

Speaker:

Re-energize getting time away,

Speaker:

relaxing, reflecting,

Speaker:

and enjoying life is good for you for your health and

Speaker:

just your wellbeing overall.

Speaker:

Plus, I know you've experienced this with other things before,

Speaker:

when you're able to walk away from your business for a

Speaker:

while. Sometimes it's me just taking walks out side I all

Speaker:

of a sudden get the best ideas and come back.

Speaker:

I'm rejuvenated and excited about the ideas,

Speaker:

but these only happen when I've stepped away for a little

Speaker:

while. The other reason that you absolutely need to be taking

Speaker:

vacations is for long term endurance.

Speaker:

If you're thinking that you've set up a business that you

Speaker:

want to have going for the long haul,

Speaker:

you can not go year after year after year after year

Speaker:

and not take vacations.

Speaker:

You are not going to be able to sustain that type

Speaker:

of thing even for a year,

Speaker:

especially if you have children at home.

Speaker:

So talk about the options of what you can do,

Speaker:

especially for the online portion of your business and how you

Speaker:

can manage that online presence.

Speaker:

Things that you can put in place an options so that

Speaker:

you can go off and enjoy yourself on your vehicle patients.

Speaker:

Okay. So the first thing that you're able to do is

Speaker:

put your shop on pause at sea or Facebook shops.

Speaker:

You can put those shops on vacation mode.

Speaker:

People get the fact that especially if you're a solo preneur,

Speaker:

there are going to be times that you're going to want

Speaker:

to get away.

Speaker:

You could potentially miss business when you do this,

Speaker:

of course,

Speaker:

but it's different than if you just closed down your shop

Speaker:

or make your shop disappear in its entirety.

Speaker:

People know that you're still there.

Speaker:

You're going to be back.

Speaker:

You're just taking a pause.

Speaker:

Okay? So that's the first thing that you can do.

Speaker:

The second thing that you can do,

Speaker:

especially if you have your own website is add an announcement

Speaker:

to the top of your website,

Speaker:

above the fold saying that you're going to be gone for

Speaker:

a short time.

Speaker:

You're taking a break you're in much needed family time.

Speaker:

However you want to word it.

Speaker:

You can word it in a way that's in alignment with

Speaker:

your branding and how you normally talk with customers.

Speaker:

Letting people know that,

Speaker:

yes, you're still there,

Speaker:

but you just won't be around for a little while.

Speaker:

The reason you might want to do that is there are

Speaker:

lots of people who will come and look at your products

Speaker:

and decide that they're going to place an order.

Speaker:

And it's okay if it takes a week or so for

Speaker:

it to be fulfilled,

Speaker:

but you don't want to do that without them knowing it.

Speaker:

So being able to put something right at the top of

Speaker:

your website that just says,

Speaker:

offer a short break,

Speaker:

all orders that come up until July 17th will be filled,

Speaker:

starting July 18th.

Speaker:

This way you won't lose sales people.

Speaker:

If they can't wait,

Speaker:

we'll go elsewhere.

Speaker:

And you haven't gotten anybody angry with you because they needed

Speaker:

it for a birthday or something,

Speaker:

but they can still purchase the product right then and there

Speaker:

while they're on your site,

Speaker:

if they can wait for a short time.

Speaker:

So that's the second option.

Speaker:

The third option is to stay fully open online.

Speaker:

And you're going to say to me,

Speaker:

well, how can I possibly do that?

Speaker:

I'm not going to be there to fill orders.

Speaker:

And here's how you can do this prep enough product so

Speaker:

that you have product available.

Speaker:

Let's say you have a whole slew of products on your

Speaker:

website. Maybe you hide some of your products and only have

Speaker:

sir products up,

Speaker:

but have inventory available so that the,

Speaker:

that is available to be shipped.

Speaker:

If someone orders and then train somebody on how to fulfill

Speaker:

your orders,

Speaker:

I'm not talking about how to make your product,

Speaker:

but show them how to access the orders,

Speaker:

how to print the labels,

Speaker:

how to pull the products and how to ship.

Speaker:

And this could be someone who's a friend,

Speaker:

maybe it's high school student as a part-time job for very

Speaker:

short time.

Speaker:

This is a great stepping if you will,

Speaker:

to actually hiring in somebody.

Speaker:

And I know that this is a big hurdle that we

Speaker:

all have.

Speaker:

That was my big barrier forever.

Speaker:

Going on vacation.

Speaker:

When I was telling you about my gift basket business basket

Speaker:

time, I wouldn't leave because nobody could do it as well

Speaker:

as I could,

Speaker:

which was such a total lie now.

Speaker:

Yeah. I might have certain ways to design baskets,

Speaker:

so that would take more training.

Speaker:

But when I finally figured it out,

Speaker:

when I finally realized that there are certain baskets that regularly

Speaker:

sells during the season,

Speaker:

I'm going to make up several of them.

Speaker:

You know,

Speaker:

whatever your current purchasing behavior is,

Speaker:

you kind of have a feel for what are your best

Speaker:

sellers and how much you sell during certain periods of time.

Speaker:

And if you make those up ahead of time,

Speaker:

all you need is for someone to come in and fill

Speaker:

any orders that come in.

Speaker:

And if you have a specific process that they can follow,

Speaker:

it is not that hard to do.

Speaker:

This would be a way that you could keep your online

Speaker:

shop open,

Speaker:

even while you're on video patient.

Speaker:

I'm going to give you another idea.

Speaker:

That might be a little controversial,

Speaker:

but I did it and it worked beautifully.

Speaker:

And this was for gift baskets.

Speaker:

So I get that.

Speaker:

It's not going to work for every single business.

Speaker:

My prior example would probably work better for some buses.

Speaker:

But what about this partner with a competitor?

Speaker:

SU what partner with a competitor.

Speaker:

Yeah, that's what I did when I was gone.

Speaker:

And in the gift basket industry,

Speaker:

the way business usually works is someone calls in and they

Speaker:

want it that day or the next day it's for an

Speaker:

anniversary or a birthday or a new baby.

Speaker:

And some of those gifts can't wait a week.

Speaker:

I partnered with somebody who was right in my area about

Speaker:

half an hour away and directed all of my sales over

Speaker:

to her.

Speaker:

And guess what?

Speaker:

It worked in reverse when she was out on vacation.

Speaker:

And what did that do for us?

Speaker:

Did we lose sales to each other?

Speaker:

No. If anything,

Speaker:

it endeared our customers to us knowing that we had their

Speaker:

backs. If they needed something,

Speaker:

we had a solution for them.

Speaker:

Like I said,

Speaker:

it's a little bit of a controversial idea,

Speaker:

but based on your product,

Speaker:

it can really work as a review.

Speaker:

Here are the three actions to keep your online shop open

Speaker:

so that you can go on vacation and get the restorative

Speaker:

time away that you need one.

Speaker:

If you're on something like Facebook or Etsy,

Speaker:

you can pause your shop,

Speaker:

put your shop in vacation mode.

Speaker:

Don't make your shop go away entirely.

Speaker:

You want people to know that you're still around.

Speaker:

You're just not available to fill orders for short time.

Speaker:

Number two,

Speaker:

put an announcement on your website.

Speaker:

That orders that are placed up until a certain date will

Speaker:

be fulfilled,

Speaker:

right? When you get back so that people know that they

Speaker:

can still place the orders,

Speaker:

not to expect the product immediately.

Speaker:

And if they do need the product immediately,

Speaker:

then they might need to look for a different option.

Speaker:

And third is stay open,

Speaker:

reduce the visible products,

Speaker:

if necessary to just your best sellers,

Speaker:

but have things available.

Speaker:

If people want to buy,

Speaker:

even with delayed delivery and teach somebody how to fill the

Speaker:

orders for you,

Speaker:

just the shipping part,

Speaker:

not the making part.

Speaker:

Cause I think that's where we stumble.

Speaker:

We think that,

Speaker:

oh, someone's gotta be able to do everything.

Speaker:

Don't have those extra special scented candle available for the time

Speaker:

that you're gone because you don't have any batches made yet

Speaker:

just have of what's made,

Speaker:

have it available,

Speaker:

train somebody to come in,

Speaker:

to be able to do the shipping for you.

Speaker:

And then your online shop can stay open.

Speaker:

Even why,

Speaker:

while you're gone,

Speaker:

this could be the start to your very first employee.

Speaker:

You get the feel for it.

Speaker:

You've overcome your concern about having someone else come in and

Speaker:

work the business.

Speaker:

And I can't tell you how freeing that is is when

Speaker:

you finally actually do that.

Speaker:

Now, a couple of other things,

Speaker:

things, since we're on the vacation topic that I would do

Speaker:

besides whichever choice you make in terms of what you're going

Speaker:

to do with your online and shop phone messages,

Speaker:

make sure somebody is listening to all your phone messages and

Speaker:

respond for your automated phone message.

Speaker:

I would not say that you're on vacation.

Speaker:

That's just a security risk to me.

Speaker:

If people by chance know where you live or in some

Speaker:

way know that you're going to be out of town.

Speaker:

I wouldn't say that one-on-one or whoever's answering and responding to

Speaker:

messages for,

Speaker:

you can say,

Speaker:

oh, you know,

Speaker:

she's a few days off right now.

Speaker:

She'll be back.

Speaker:

Can I help you?

Speaker:

In the meantime,

Speaker:

second thing is send out an email to all of your

Speaker:

regular customers telling them that you're to be away.

Speaker:

And if they've been thinking about placing an order to do

Speaker:

so before,

Speaker:

whatever date it is before you're going to go away,

Speaker:

if not feel free to place orders when I'm gone and

Speaker:

there'll be fulfilled when I get back or there'll be fulfilled

Speaker:

by whoever's going to be doing your fulfillment.

Speaker:

As we were talking about earlier,

Speaker:

you can also put that as the signature for your emails.

Speaker:

Don't forget to take it off.

Speaker:

When you get back in third thing,

Speaker:

social media,

Speaker:

there's absolutely no reason why you have to interrupt your flow

Speaker:

of social media while you're on vacation.

Speaker:

You can schedule posts everywhere now.

Speaker:

So whatever your normal system is of showing up,

Speaker:

stick with it,

Speaker:

just preplan it.

Speaker:

And then when you get back,

Speaker:

or if you want to a little bit,

Speaker:

while you're on vacation,

Speaker:

see who's interacting and respond.

Speaker:

Vacations are a responsibility to you personally,

Speaker:

because you need that restorative time to your family because of

Speaker:

relationships and commitments and being part of the family,

Speaker:

but also to your business and your customers.

Speaker:

And this is a way that you can balance it all.

Speaker:

And so that you don't have to worry when you're gone,

Speaker:

that you're losing customers or you're losing business and orders.

Speaker:

You've created a plan.

Speaker:

When you get back,

Speaker:

you can post pictures of being away and you can talk

Speaker:

about the new designs that you came up with,

Speaker:

the value of taking vacation,

Speaker:

getting away,

Speaker:

and then how you're able to brainstorm new ideas,

Speaker:

because you've had the opportunity to walk away.

Speaker:

Maybe it's a new promotion that you'll tease them about and

Speaker:

say, I got this idea while I was drinking my,

Speaker:

my tie under the cabana.

Speaker:

Wait to see what I have planned for an X month.

Speaker:

Vacations are a necessity.

Speaker:

If you think like how I was thinking years back,

Speaker:

that things can't possibly get done.

Speaker:

It's a level or the quality that you require your business.

Speaker:

Isn't going to last too long.

Speaker:

I'm sorry to say.

Speaker:

Now is the time for holidays.

Speaker:

Our kids are home for the summer.

Speaker:

We're going out vacationing,

Speaker:

visiting family,

Speaker:

enjoying the holiday weekends.

Speaker:

You need to get out and celebrate and enjoy,

Speaker:

but that doesn't mean that you need to sacrifice your business.

Speaker:

At the same time.

Speaker:

That's a wrap.

Speaker:

I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

Speaker:

And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

Speaker:

sessions. Now it's your turn.

Speaker:

Go out and fulfill that dream of yours.

Speaker:

Share your handmade products with us.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.