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How to Take a Vacation When You Run a Business

11 min read

One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is setting your own schedule. You’re the boss after all.

But in reality, one in five small business owners actually feel guilty about taking a vacation and stepping away from their businesses. When everyone else goes offline for the holidays, most entrepreneurs stay put.

But vacations matter. Professionals who regularly take time off work are proven to be more productive than those who spend extra time working. And regular vacations also contribute positively to emotional wellbeing, reducing instances of depression.

You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time off. In this post, we’ll look at some steps you can take to feel less stressed while you break from your grind for a little R&R.

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Announce Your Vacation Early

Will you slow shipping during your vacation? Maybe you want to stop it altogether? Whatever you choose, let your customers know about the changes in advance. Depending on the average shipping time, “in advance” can mean anything from three days to a couple of weeks.

vacation banner

An example of a banner you can put on your website to announce changes to your customers

A banner on your website can do the job. Make it bright and noticeable for everyone to see. Check out Ecwid apps like Easy Popup or Countdown Timer Popup to create popups right in your control panel. And don’t forget to spread the word on your social media pages too.

If you want to sell as much as you can before you go on vacation, try Facebook remarketing to reach out to previous site visitors who left without completing their checkout. People who’ve already been thinking about buying are low-hanging fruit for e-commerce merchants looking to make a quick sale.

Organize Pre-ordering

Offer your customers pre-ordering — they can purchase in advance, and you ship in 2-3 weeks when you come back. Discounts and gifts will make it worth the wait.

Close pre-orders a couple days before your vacation and stock up on materials/products/packaging. Then make sure when you return, you’ve got enough time to prepare, pack, and ship your pre-orders. For example, instead of feeling like you need to ship everything the first day, start shipping orders a week after you come back. It’s better to alert customers about a late start than to be late with delivery.

Here’s how to accept pre-orders in your Ecwid store.

Ship Only Large Orders

If you’re not going anywhere during your break and you’re ready to take some orders, consider only shipping large orders.

To avoid offending shoppers with smaller orders, just change the delivery terms. For example, offer fast delivery for orders over $60, and send smaller orders in 10-15 days. This way you get some downtime to relax, without shutting down operations completely. Of course, if your customers really love your product, there’s always a risk they’ll just order more to get it sooner. That’s definitely not a bad thing, but you should be ready to deal with it.

Use Fulfillment Options

“Fulfillment” includes a variety of services for online stores, from receiving calls to packaging and delivery. A fulfillment center can even take over working with your suppliers. You can find fulfillment services right in the Ecwid App Market, like eFulfillment Service.

Fulfillment centers sell packages of services, but you needn’t use them all. Pay either by the hour or by the number of processed orders. But pay attention to prices — sometimes it’s cheaper to pay for each delivery separately.

Audit Your Website and Sales Funnel

To really relax and save yourself some headaches while you’re away on vacation, spend some time conducting a thorough audit of your website, sales funnel, and other important processes before you leave. Not only is it a smart move to make sure everything’s chugging along as it should, but it’ll help you spot and fix any major issues before step away.

Here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Check your website performance. For example, enter the domain on GTMetrix to evaluate your site’s speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall performance.
  • Place a test order to make sure your customers won’t have problems placing orders while you’re away.
  • Double-check that your website and social media pages provide a fast way to contact a customer service representative (you or someone you’ve delegated).
  • Verify that all your passwords are strong.

Automate Your Marketing

Thanks to modern automation tools, marketing is simpler than ever before.

Marketing automation allows you to attract new audiences and keep your customers informed during your vacation. Here are a few ways you can use it:

  • Email marketing automation. About 70% of online customers who add products to their cart leave without completing their purchase. Recovering abandoned carts can increase sales by up to 20%. And if you upgrade to Ecwid’s Business or Unlimited plans, we’ll do all the work for you: abandoned cart emails are sent automatically to the customers’ inbox.
  • Scheduled newsletters. Think over the topics, prepare your email content, and schedule the send. When the time comes, the email will send automatically to your designated email list. This feature is available on all popular mail services.
  • Social media automation. Automated scheduling tools allow you to plan and pre-slot social media content that will automatically post on your specified date/time. All you’ll have to supply on the day is your real-time interaction.

With the help of automated marketing tools, you can improve your operation’s efficiency and spend more time enjoying your vacation.

Leverage Your Remote Capabilities

One of the beautiful things about technology is that it enables us to work whenever we want from wherever we want. And if you’re traveling for a vacation, having your smartphone, laptop, or tablet in tow means you can keep tabs on your business wherever you roam.

If your online store is built with Ecwid, you can use the Ecwid mobile store management app for iOS and Android to take care of important business from your mobile device. With the app, you can:

  • Manage orders
  • Get notifications when new orders are placed
  • Photograph and list new products
  • Share products on social media
  • Modify and manage inventory
  • Process sales and much more.

produts list in Ecwid mobile app

Editing products in Ecwid Mobile App

So even when you’re away, you can take care of those must-do items on your checklist. You can try the Ecwid Mobile app for free for 28 days.

Keep in mind that even though you can work from wherever, it’s still okay to enjoy your vacation. Schedule a set block of time during the day when you can focus on work, and then get back to relaxing. Having set times for work and set times for rest can help you better manage and focus on both.

Delegate What You Can

Inability to delegate is one of the reasons new businesses fail. Pushing responsibilities down isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes it feels like no one can do your job as well as you do. But you still need to pause and make room for important strategic planning. Here’s what you can do:

Document your processes for your staff or temporary support. This can include customer service policy, guidelines for running social media pages, checklists for packaging, or whatever else seems important.

Having written instructions is crucial to successful delegation. As you manage your store, develop a habit of writing down (or saving links to) instructions for all important operations. For example, why create every social media image from scratch if you could use a template? Begin to develop easily communicable processes, and your vacation will thank you.

Jamie Oliver brandbook

From Jamie Oliver’s brandbook

Add staff to your Ecwid Store Team. With custom staff permissions, your team members will be given restricted access to log into your Ecwid store, without the risk of seeing important private information. For example, you can delegate work and give access to:

  • store managers — to manage sales and control stock,
  • fulfillment operators — to prepare orders for shipping, delivery, or in-store pickup,
  • or marketing managers — to run promotions.

If having some additional support while you’re away makes you rest easy, this is a minor investment that will be worth its weight in gold. Feel free to check out live chat apps in the Ecwid App Market to install in your store.

Take a Vacation and Enjoy It!

If your sales already decline in summer, seize that moment and take a rest while customers are inactive. By taking advantage of the tips we’ve outlined here, you can finally take that vacation you’ve been dreaming of… and actually enjoy it!

You’ll spend less time worrying that your business is falling apart, and your travel partners will appreciate you being more present and relaxed. Don’t let your hesitations keep you at home — take a break! You deserve it.

When was your last vacation as a business owner?


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About the author

Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.

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