Summer holidays, Christmas, New Years, March Break… the list of potential holidays goes on and on. But if you are like many (dare I say, most?) owners, the thought of these holidays is more likely to make you break out in a cold sweat than elicit thoughts of fun and frivolity. But it doesn’t have to be this way… Really, it doesn’t.

Imagine what life could be life for you if you actually carved out time for yourself; time to relax, renew and recharge. Can you picture how nice it would be to be able to go away for a week, or two weeks, knowing that your customers were being taken care of, that new clients were still able to learn more about you, and that you business was humming along like a well-oiled machine? With some care and consideration, your business can continue to stay top of mind, even when you are miles away.

Sounds nice… in theory!

No one said it would be easy, but with a few simple steps, you can create a marketing strategy that will keep your business top of mind, even while you are away.

  1. Have a PLAN – Choose a time frame – decide how many days of holidays you want to take – and block them off in your calendar. Do it NOW, and hold that space sacred. No one is saying that you have to close for two weeks between Christmas and New Years, but if you don’t decide what days you are going to be off, you will NEVER TAKE THEM. Once you have blocked off the time, put it in your calendar, and build your marketing activities around it. Using automation tools, you can set emails to be delivered, blogs to be posted, or updates to be tweeted, even while you are away.
  2. TRAIN your customers – I am a HUGE fan of excellent customer service, and going above and beyond is a mantra of mine. But know this: if you are always available, you must always be available. Training your customers to recognize boundaries in your business, establishing clearly start/end times, days off, etc., will make it much easier when it comes time for you enjoy some downtime.  Using your voicemail, email signature, out-of-office messages, even email marketing, to communicate availability, and you will train your clients to respect your time away. 
  3. BUDDY up – If you are in a service industry like massage therapy, chiropractic, graphic or website design, you need to be cultivating good relationships with your peers. You owe it to your clients to have a back-up waiting in the wings, so that no matter what happens – holidays, illness, etc. – your clients are being cared for. Finding a colleague in your field whom you can trust, who’s work you admire, and with whom you can negotiate a ‘cover me’ arrangement, will not only give you the time to take a break, but more importantly will give you peace of mind knowing your business is in good hands.

Can you see it?

How different would you personal and professional life be, if you could finally take some much needed time to connect not only to yourself, but also to your friends and family. Like the cell phone that I know you can’t live without, you are only useful if your battery is charged.

So what strategies do you use in your business to carve out time for yourself… or do you?