Going Away for the Summer? Is Your Business “Packed” and Ready To Go

summervacation-iStock_000011860951XSmall.jpgAs you prepare to take your family away for a great summer vacation (or maybe take just yourself to the beach) make sure that your business is positioned to operate at full capacity even though you, your management colleagues and your employees might be away.
When staff are away on vacation, it’s important that they can be away and enjoy their vacation. As best you can, they should be able to “be away” and not worry about checking email every second and checking voice mail.
The only way that this is going to happen is if you have institute a culture of leadership and the right training to enable peers to operate, even though other peers and even management is away for a day or weeks at a time.
It’s also important that way before employees leave on vacation that you have institute an ecosystem of communication and collaboration. What does this mean? This means that “things” (reports, emails, client files, messages and etc) are not locked in email boxes, but are available to all authorized users in an easy to find/search and accessible fashion. There are many tools that can help you do this such as Microsoft Sharepoint, many project management tools in the apps marketplaces of Google Apps, the Small Business Web and Intuit QuickBooks marketplace and so many other stand alone applications.
Enabling easy to use and secure remote access is also very important. There’s no reason, since technology enables this to happen, that employees cannot be as productive out of the office as in the office.
Intuit shared some further points to help you prepare for Summer time vacations:

Have your business a click away: Although you will be on vacation and your books will be in order before you go, you may still want access to critical business info from the road. Try an online offering such as QuickBooks Online or Freshbooks. If you want to fully escape, consider giving your login information to a family member or friend to monitor for you.
Check in before checking out: Make sure you tell the necessary folks you will be away. Update your email and voicemail to note you’re out of office and be sure to provide a contact person so customers and vendors don’t feel stranded. Also, consider partnering with another trusted small business owner with a complementary business who can watch your business while you’re out and you can return the favor when you return.
Keep your employees happy: Your employees depend on you and depend on getting a regular paycheck, so if payroll is scheduled to take place while you are away, make sure it’s automated or someone can run it for you. Consider something like Intuit Online Payroll – schedule payments online and don’t look back.

Plan payments before packing:
Before packing your bags, make sure you’ve scheduled all payments and invoices in advance. One missed payment to a vendor or bank could set you back and hurt your credit, and delayed invoicing disrupts cash flow. Try auto-bill pay with Wells Fargo and scheduled invoicing with services like Intuit Billing Manager.
Make it count: Make sure you enjoy yourself on your vacation and do your best not to mix business with pleasure. Coming back refreshed and energized will only help you run your business better!