Want (or need) a break? In this episode, I’m sharing how you can prepare your business for some time off! Whether it’s vacation, a sabbatical, or something like maternity leave –– you can take a break, and keep your business afloat.
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Welcome to the work your wellness biz podcast, a podcast for nutrition and fitness professionals. I’m your host, Jess Freeman here to help you save time and look good online.
Raise your hand, if you need a break. I think a lot of us could use a break from time to time and a lot of us need to take more breaks. So today I want to talk to you about how to prepare your business for a break. And this could be a week, two weeks, a month, three months, whatever it is.
And I also want to say it doesn’t have to be a break where I’m taking a break because I’m going on a two-week vacation or I’m going on maternity leave or something like if you just need a two-week break from your business because you’re really burnt out. That’s okay, you don’t have to have some big reason. I have definitely taken breaks before, maybe not two weeks, which is totally fine.
But I’ve taken breaks before where I was like I just I am, I’m tired. I’m a little burnout. So I’m going to like schedule a week off with this random week, you know, next month or two months from now or whatever I can squeeze in. And I just I’m not going to work, I’m not going to have calls, I’m not going to do client work, I’m not going anywhere. But I’m taking a breather. And I think that’s important for us to do from time to time.
So today we’re gonna talk about how to prepare your business for break free so that you can take a break, and how you can prepare your business so that when you come back, your business is still there, you still have a business that hasn’t fallen apart. So let’s dive in.
The first thing I would recommend is batching your content. So this could be blogs, videos, podcasts, whatever kind of content you’re creating, you want to batch this ahead of time, and schedule it all so that you are not even having to come into the office or pull out your laptop, whatever to go publish that blog post or schedule the video, whatever you want to schedule all of this ahead of time.
Now obviously, if you’re not even doing content, you can skip this step. But I think most people are doing one of those types of content. So I would recommend that you do keep creating and publishing content even while you’re gone. Just because it can help with your SEO, it helps you stay top of mind. You can also then schedule like social media posts and emails to go out which we’ll talk about.
But you want to stay in front of your audience. Now, you don’t have to keep creating content while you’re gone or scheduling content. But I would just recommend it so you don’t completely go dark and disappear. What you could do is if you know right now you’re doing weekly content, and you’re planning to take a month off or something, maybe you only publish once or twice during that time instead of every week. So you could maybe adjust your schedule for that short span of time, if you want.
Now if we’re talking about like you’re like, I’m just taking a week and a half or two weeks off, honestly, I mean, yes, you could, it would be very easy to just batch one or two extra blog posts or videos during that time. But it’s also just one or two weeks. So if you want to, you could just not publish a blog post those one or two weeks. And I don’t think that’s a big deal.
When it comes to being gone for a month or three months. That’s when I think you do need to still publish content to some degree. So for example, as you are listening to this, it is end of September, I am wrapping up maternity leave. But as I’m recording this right now it is April. I’m recording this episode in April because I am batching my content and scheduling everything. So that while I’m on maternity leave, I don’t have to, I don’t have to check-in I don’t have to go hit publish or anything.
So it can be done. And I have worked really hard to get really far ahead and schedule all this content. And I’m only doing every other week’s content this year on my podcast and YouTube channel. So I’m not even doing weekly content. So this is your permission slip if you need one, to adjust your content schedule to fit your life. So the second thing is something we already I already mentioned just a second ago, which is your social media. So this is I would say just as important, if not even a little bit more important to stay active on social media.
Now again, I’m talking about scheduling. I’m not saying that while you’re on vacation or maternity leave or whatever that you need to be worrying about posting and an insert storing or anything like that. But you want to make sure you are saying On what is present on social media through the scheduled posts, I think this is really important because we as business owners are very, very active on social media.
And while the blogs and podcasts and videos help us with SEO, we do want to stay in front of our followers. Also, there is potential that if you go dark for three months, and then you come back, the algorithm may not like you, you may have fewer reads, etc. No one wants to deal with that. So again, schedule this ahead of time, it doesn’t have to be daily if you are posting daily right now. And you do not have to keep up with that schedule while you’re on break.
And also, as I mentioned with the content earlier, if you’re only taking a week or two off, I don’t think that’s a huge deal. Again, this is really if you’re taking two to three months off, then we might want to schedule some posts. My plan for maternity leave is I’m using social media, I already use social being, but I will continue to use it to schedule and stay consistent on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And I have posts there that just kind of cycle and recycle.
And then I will be using planoly to schedule Instagram posts. And I’m also I’ve started kind of repurposing videos over to IGTV. And you can’t schedule IGTV through planning, but you can schedule IGTV through Facebook Creator Studio. So if you have a business page that is linked to your business, Instagram, you can schedule IGTV there, you can also schedule posts, but I prefer a plan only for scheduling just regular Instagram posts because you can also do the first comment with the plan only.
So that’s usually where people put their hashtags. So that’s what I plan to do for Instagram. So schedule social media, whatever that looks like if it’s one post a week instead of every day. If it’s every other week, something but I recommend having at least a little bit of a presence still on social media as much as you can.
And then the next thing I would encourage you to think about and prepare is email, we have to think about our inbox because that’s where a lot of obviously, client inquiries come in maybe collaboration request you know, anything like that we don’t want to come back from break and have 1000 emails waiting in our inbox and people emailed us three months ago and we’re like, oh, hey, just now responding.
So first, I would say at the very least have your out-of-office autoresponder on at the very, very least do that. And you can say, you know, hey, I’m on break until XYZ time I’ll get back to you at that time, you know, whatever. Or if you want depending again, how long you’re going to be gone. You might also consider having someone manage your inbox for you while you’re gone. And it’s just a week or two, I think just the out of office, and then come back and deal with the inbox craziness.
For me being gone for three months on maternity leave, I don’t even want to think about how many emails would be waiting for me so I am having someone manage my inbox for me and our plan is she’s gonna know kind of the routine of Okay, like these newsletters and junk mail can just be trashed. And then she will voxer me or message me somehow we haven’t entirely decided at this point every Friday and say, Hey, you got this inquiry you got you know, this email from so and so whatever, like things that are kind of important.
And I can quickly just say, you know, say this to this person, I already use email templates inside of Gmail for a lot of my email responses. So it will be very easy for her to then just choose a template, fill in the details, and like, here you go. So that will be a nice relief for me to know that one, my inbox won’t be crazy when I come back. But also that I can still respond to client inquiries and other requests of that nature in a timely manner.
And when I say me, I really mean the girl who’s going to be taking care of that for me. So yeah, that’s something to keep in mind. And then along those same lines are kind of like the precursor to that is thinking about your website for while you’re on break. Again, this really does not apply very much if you’re only taking a week or two off any more than that. And I would recommend some updates or changes, tweaks, whatever you want to call it for your website.
So for instance, if you are someone who sells like physical products, obviously make sure that you kind of shut down your store or have a very large banner that makes it clear like nothing will be shipped until x date or whatever. But if you were like me and your one to one service provider, you want to make sure and have that kind of a disclaimer on your contact form. Your Contact page, whatever and let people know, hey, I am on leave, or there may be a delayed response, this is how soon you can expect a response.
So for me, I will probably say, you can expect a response within seven to 10 business days, you know, if you are not going to have someone manage your inbox, you might want to say, I will be out of the office until x date. So it might be a month or two or three weeks or whatever. So you just want to clearly communicate that. So people don’t think, well, she just ignored me.
And she’s not very professional, you know, those kinds of things. So think about what you might need to say on your website. And I would really keep this to just write around your contact form or your contact page, it doesn’t need to be on the homepage of your website, or this huge banner at the top of your website on every page. But just so that people who are are already planning on reaching out, are aware of when they can expect to hear from you.
And then the next and most important thing that I think we need to think about is taking care of our clients and our community members. So for me, I don’t have a lot of clients on retainer or that I work with on a reoccurring basis. It’s kind of like they come to me for a website, we work together for a few weeks, and then and then we’re done. Often, though, they will reach back out three months later, six months a year, or whatever.
And like, oh, I need some updates. Can we add this new service page, I have a new offer, you know, things of that nature. So I want to make sure that those clients who do that are taken care of. So this again, kind of goes back to the email situation where you might want to include that information in your email responder, but I would also recommend reaching out to your clients.
If you have ones that come back to you or that you work with on a reoccurring basis and say, Hey, I’m going to be gone for a month or three months, whatever this is who you can reach out to, if you need help, like I’m not going to tell my clients like I’ll be gone for three months, but if you email me, my assistant will, will be you know, voxer me once a week, so you can get a hold of me through her No, because I’m not gonna be able to come get on my computer and help fix a tech issue.
So I have found someone who can help take care of my clients while I’m gone, if something comes up, or if they just, you know, hey, I want a new page on my website, I don’t want to wait till Jessica gets back in October. So that is something that I have kind of set up is they will have somebody to reach out to in the event that, you know, there’s some kind of tech issue on their website, or they just need some kind of design help.
So think about how you can take care of your clients if that is something that your business is already kind of set up to do. As I said, it’s not a huge part of my business with this recurring thing. But I just want to make sure that the people who do check in with me and need updates periodically have somewhere to go, I don’t want to leave them stranded.
And also for my membership community, I have already planned guest experts. So it’s not just gonna go dark for three months in the community, and I will have someone, the same girl who’s going to be helping with my inbox will also kind of help manage the community. And so I think I will still be semi-active on social media during maternity leave, I know I will still check on Facebook.
And so that means I’ll see the post in there for the community. But I want to make sure if I miss something if I miss a post or some question doesn’t get answered, or there’s some kind of problem that I made aware of it. So she’ll be helping kind of manage the group while I’m gone. So that is honestly one of the most important things like if, if you go dark on social and you don’t post any blogs or videos for three months, I mean, yeah, it may not be great, but it’s not the end of the world.
And what matters more than anything is that you have your clients and community taken care of. So that would be something I would prioritize. So that’s kind of the run-through of what I would do to make sure your business stays afloat batch content, batch your social media content and schedule all of that make sure your inbox has an autoresponder or you have someone managing it and then make sure you are taking care of your clients and community.
So I’m sure there are other things that we could be doing as business owners things that I haven’t thought of yet as I’m preparing for maternity leave, but these are things that I think we can do to better prepare our business for time off.
So if you have other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Even though by the time you’re hearing this I will be finishing up my maternity leave so it’ll be a little late but I would love to hear from you. If you have questions. If you want to know how all this worked out in the end since I am wrapping up maternity leave as you’re hearing this, feel free to DM me on Instagram at Jesscreatives and I will see y’all next time.