Travel & Time Management

by Nicole Edgar

It’s no surprise that small business owners are constantly on the clock. For a variety of reasons, people who fall into this category seldom take the opportunity to reward themselves with a well-deserved holiday. However, taking this much needed “me” time is crucial to refreshing your state of mind and feeling ready to tackle your business’ next challenge.

In this guest post from personal travel manager, Nicole Edgar, we look at three ways small business owners can have peace of mind while taking a break from work—because there’s no room for stress in carry-on luggage!

Option 1:  Total break – complete rest and relaxation

For businesses that can stop while you’re away.

  • Once you’ve picked your holiday dates, mark them in your diary as far ahead as possible, so nothing else can be double-booked.
  • Put your leave dates into your email signature as soon as possible, and advise your clients via your newsletters, emails and invoices of the dates you will be away on leave.
  • Set up your ‘out of office’ automatic email reply and turn off email notifications on your mobile phone.
  • Finalise as many things ahead of time as possible, such as staff wages and prepaying bills.
  • Divert your work phone to an answering machine.

Option 2:  Using a business caretaker – eg. virtual assistant, staff member, colleague

For businesses that can’t stop, but can live without you for a short while.

  • Outsource what you can to professionals, such as a bookkeeper, accountant or virtual assistant.  A virtual assistant is like a house sitter for your business.  Remember to budget for their fees and costs.
  • Alternatively, you could train up a trusted and reliable staff member, freelancer or business colleague to do your work in your absence.
  • Don’t forget to give your trusted business caretaker access to their own logins and passwords (or yours), remote access, security codes and keys, if required.
  • Draw up an emergency action plan of policies and procedures, showing who is in charge of what, in case of any unforeseen circumstances and absences.

Or option 3:  Taking the business away with you

For when you just can’t bear the thought of unplugging.

  • Pack your laptop/iPad/notebook, power cords, and international adapters if required.
  • To stay connected, choose a destination and accommodation that has good phone coverage and internet connections.
  • Purchase a dongle, (portable modem), or use your mobile phone to tether to your laptop as a ‘hotspot’.
  • Turn off ‘data roaming’ on your mobile phone when travelling internationally, otherwise you’ll be hit with hefty bills once you return.
  • Ask your mobile phone provider to ‘unlock’ your phone for international use.  They may also have an international download plan that’s worth purchasing.
  • Consider buying an international SIM card for your mobile phone, once you reach your destination.
  • Remember the time zone you’re in, and that of the other party you want to contact, especially when making phone calls.  Emails don’t matter as much.  Also consider time zones when making Internet banking payments as you may miss deadlines.

For a restful holiday and more tips to unwinding as a small business owner, contact personal travel manager, Nicole Edgar.