Ever since I was a kid, I’ve heard small business owners lament the slow times their businesses go through during the summer. I’ve heard things like, “When I go on vacation, my business goes on vacation.” And, “Nobody’s making it rain while I’m gone.” And, “If I’m not working, the business isn’t working.”
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, there’s always a summertime effect that impacts business as people take vacations, but YOUR vacation doesn’t have to cause a slowdown. And besides, although some people are on vacation, there are plenty of people who aren’t—there are plenty of people to do business with today.
But that’s a topic for a different blog post. Let’s call out the biggest issue related to small business summertime doldrums—the business owner’s vacation. Many people believe they can either go on vacation and experience a slowdown or they can skip the vacation and keep the business humming. To avoid this dilemma, I recommend two important tools in the entrepreneur’s Small Business Success toolbox:
- A “second in command”
- An automation engine
Your “second in command” can be a business partner, office manager, VP, or even a virtual assistant. It’s the person you put in charge of running the business while you’re gone, giving them full responsibility to make the decisions—and deliver results—while you’re gone. Even if you’re a stage one solopreneur, you can give this responsibility to a virtual assistant or other confidant to take care of issues while you’re gone. And if you’re a stage five growth company with 30 employees, make sure one person is ultimately responsible while you’re gone. We call that the OPUR. Your second in command ensures the business runs smoothly while you are on vacation.
Your automation engine keeps the sales, marketing and operations chugging along while you’re on the beach, playing golf, sleeping, or doing whatever you prefer on vacation. You need a conveyor belt that’s always on, bringing customers your way, even when you are gone. That’s what a good automation engine will do for you, but you must set it up to make it happen. If you don’t have an automation engine set up this summer, take steps to get it in place so you can take your next vacation in peace, knowing your business is humming back home.
And who says the vacation needs to wait till next summer?
SBS Idea of the Day: Determine who your “second in command” is now so that you can put that person in charge whenever you need to step away. And make sure that person will run the business in alignment with your purpose, values, and mission.