Out of Office Package
By Hannah Swierstra
Going on holiday? The read on...
June is proving to be a BIG month for me. I moved house yesterday after 4 months of planning, preparation, selling and solicitors. I’m not going ‘away’ but I am taking this week off. And before you ask, this is a pre-prepared blog, I am probably at the moment of publication cleaning my ‘old’ house – rock and roll!!
Back to the point, I may not be away, my laptop & work phone are not too far away, but I am taking the week off. We’ve moved house, I’m tired, it’s been stressful, I want to unpack, settle in and just RELAX.
Going on holiday is a common subject between business owners, particularly solopreneurs, or those with associates rather than people in their business.
It’s hard to let go, you may think you can’t, that if you do, you’ll lose new leads, existing clients and gain a reputation as unreliable.
But that doesn’t need to be the case.
There are things you can put in place to avoid this happening:
- The most important one is to let your clients know that you are taking time off, if they know in advance, they can plan for it.
- Put a contingency in place, maybe one of your peers could be available to deal with any emergencies. For example, if you provide IT support, do you have someone in your network that can step in for the week or two while you’re away?
- Make sure people in your network and social network are aware – tell them. Talk about it at networking, write a social post about it and pin it to your profile, include it on your website and email signature. That way people won’t be surprised if when they don’t hear from you.
- Put your out of office on and update your voicemail message. You may want to do this a few days or a week in advance, again, you’re preparing your contacts and so they won’t be expecting to hear from you.
Get someone (ME!) to keep an eye on your emails, calls, and social media while you’re away. This allows your business to continue to run in your absence, ensuring you don’t lose out on valuable business, giving you the opportunity to really switch off.
So what’s in the package Hannah?
Standard Out of Office Package
- Check email 2 x per day.
- Respond to your email enquiries
- Take messages and schedule calls and appointments for your return
- Take phone calls from clients or new business as & when required, between office hours (9am – 5pm).
- Comprehensive written & verbal handover on your return.
- Checking social media platforms & responding to enquiries, questions or comments.
- This would be checked at the same times as emails & included in your daily update.
What will I need from you?
- Access to either your email , or for you to have email forwarding set up to send emails to me or generic business email address, such as hello@ or info@ that I would have access to.
- A list of your current clients & their contact details or for you to have notified clients by email & cc me into the email.
- Access to any social media accounts or pages you would like me to cover.
- A list of services & packages you offer along with a pricelist.
- Copies of or access to any documents you would usually send out.
- Anything else you think is appropriate e.g. if you are currently working on projects that may need attention.
- A contingency/escalation plan – what is the protocol if there is something I can’t deal with such as a specific technical issue, or emergency.
We would have a 30-minute conversation 2-3days before you go on holiday to make sure I have everything I need, you feel comfortable with the arrangement and you can let me know any specific information/issues that may arise while you are not at work.
I understand that off the shelf packages don’t work for everyone, so I can tailor this to your specific needs. You can book an 30-minute introductory call with me through Calendly: https://calendly.com/balanceva