April 2020 - Feature
Studies show you’ll live longer, have fewer physical ailments and even be more productive if you take a week off at least once a year. Even better, taking care of your biggest business asset (you) can release inspiring ideas and a step back allows a better ‘big picture’ perspective. It’s also a good idea to try having a break when you have notice and preparation time in order to perfect a back-up plan and cover the unexpected, such as sickness or family emergencies.
It was probably part of your entrepreneurial dream to be drinking cocktails from a coconut or sightseeing in Saint Lucia but when you’re doing many or all of the day-to-day duties yourself, getting away is easier to dream about than necessarily do. Before you decide you’re too busy to take a break, look at these ideas for handling orders from afar and taking a hiatus from the hustle.
If you haven’t already, try to automate as much as you can. You can schedule your social media by using software such as Hootsuite and Semrush. You can ensure that payment and order acknowledgements roll in without any manual processing; getting the right technology in place will allow processes to happen with or without you whilst documenting progress when out of the office. Automating procedures will be helpful for your standard routine as you can focus on sales, growing your business and customer service instead of the minutiae.
Asking for help isn’t always easy but proposing a swap with a fellow business owner could highly benefit both of you. If you haven’t got many contacts in a similar line of work, get networking – you’ll reap loads of benefits aside from the possibility of a business babysitting switch. To find a local networking event try sites such as Meetup or Eventbrite. If you do find someone you can trust with your business and decide to arrange a swap, make sure you’ll both be able to handle the extra workload on top your usual business duties.
Hiring someone new can be daunting and although using a temping agency takes away a lot of the hassle, this solution doesn’t always allow you to fully relax when you’re away as you’ll still have to manage your new employee from afar. If you are thinking of getting a temporary member of staff, allow plenty of time for their training and be aware that you may well get someone different next time. Talk to the agency you use to see what would happen if your temp left or was sick when you’re gone, as a replacement won’t have had your specific training.
This isn’t ideal and we wouldn’t usually recommend it, but if you need to get away and can’t find someone to step into your shoes, you could let customers know there will be an order processing or shipping delay. Make it clear this isn’t usually the case, so new customers are not put off in the future.
As your ecommerce business grows, finding a third-party order fulfilment house is a natural progression. It can be hard to let go of your business baby, but by allowing someone else to take on your fulfilment needs, you can focus on growth and sales all year round and taking a break becomes a much easier choice. Here at JEM we love looking after your customers like they are our own. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what some of our clients have to say;
It’s always a relief to know that our fulfillment is being taken such good care of – by people who genuinely care. I, and the whole team at SK Chase, are very grateful.
Now, nearly two years down the line since we ‘let go’, we are delighted with the operation and all the staff we have come to know. Their ability to meet the demands of the very busy times, after a large promotional campaign, with the same energy and enthusiasm shown from the outset is a credit to them indeed.
The Yes Yes Company Ltd.