EA - Take a Holiday Break - How to Automate Your Business

Take a Holiday Break: How to Automate Your Business

Many employees enjoy the holiday season because of the time away from work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. On the other hand, the time-off during the holidays depends on the industry. For example, retail employees and managers often find that this season is the busiest time of year. But office employees and managers can take a much-needed break to focus on time with their families.

As a business owner, is there a possibility to take some time away from your computer this season? You deserve a break, but it’s not as easy as clocking out at the end of the day. Since you are running a company, a few details need to be arranged to ensure that everything can continue moving forward while you are gone. Business automation is key so that you can relax without worrying about the details in the company.

Why Time Off is Essential

Do you find that the natural inclination is to check your phone throughout the day, in case emails, calls, or text messages come through about your business? Most business owners have a hard time stepping away completely. It’s amazing to live in a digital business environment, but that means that your business follows you… even if you are on the beach in a tropical location.

Whether you are taking a few days away from the office to spend time with family or you have a fun vacation planned at a distant destination, is it likely that your phone, tablet, and/or laptop will come along so you can stay connected? It’s nice to have the convenience of staying in touch with employees and customers. But you need to consider how this habit is affecting your mental health.

In fact, scientific evidence shows that time away from work is essential so you can maintain good physical and mental health. Some researchers have been bold enough to say that a good vacation actually increases productivity at work. Yes, it is important to make sure that things are going well for your business. But if you want to show up as your best self, then you need to ensure that you are giving yourself a break every now and then for the mental health benefits.

Don’t Opt Out of Vacation Time

It is estimated that more than 40% of Americans will go an entire calendar year without taking a day off. Among those people who choose to take a vacation, many of them continue working while they are away.

Even though the vacation days are available, it’s easy to get pulled into deadlines and responsibilities in the office. Are you getting caught in the trap of prioritizing your work life over relationships, hobbies, and personal activities? Then it might be time to change your habits so you can find more balance in these activities. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to help you get started.

Instead of pressuring yourself to stay tied to the computer, you can be proactive in creating a business environment that will keep going while you are away from the office. Not only will you enjoy the break, but it is helpful to ask your employees to carry a bit more of the day-to-day responsibilities.

Set a goal to spend more time with your family over Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. If you want to meet this goal, then you need to prepare right now so that you can step away from the office for a bit.

Small Business Automation Tips

Here are a few simple strategies that can be used to improve automation in your small business. By improving your systems, it will free up your time so you are available to take more time off. Owning a business means that you have the benefit of schedule flexibility, so you might as well take advantage of this opportunity!

Keep in mind that these tips don’t apply to every business. Each industry is unique, so it’s important to consider the needs of your company as you are making changes. A personalized approach is the best way to ensure that you are creating a system built to last.

  • Repetitive Tasks: What are the small tasks that eat away at your time each week? If there are activities that you do over and over again, look at options to build a system so that you don’t have to put in the manual work all the time. For example, if you are spending time on purchase orders every week, there might be a way to set up an auto-ship agreement with your supplier. Or, adjust your requests so that you can order 1 – 2 times a month instead of weekly. Certain tools can be used to track your current inventory and reorder when needed, such as PurchaseControl, which consolidates all relevant information in a single place.
  • Outsource Payroll: When you have employees, payroll processing is a task that never goes away. If you want to maintain the right company culture, then it is essential that your employees are paid on time when payday rolls around. Sometimes, payroll processing falls to the company owner because they don’t want to hand over the financial information to an employee. Instead of spending a few hours every-other-week on payroll calculations and check printing, consider hiring a payroll processing service. This service is well worth the cost if you are looking for ways to automate your business.
  • Task Management: How often do you manage small, busy-work tasks because you don’t want to take the time to explain the details to someone else? It’s nice to have the assistance of employees and/or freelancers, but you probably aren’t leveraging these services to the fullest extent. Not only do you need to know who is working on which tasks, but you need to be able to keep track of project progress and deadlines that are coming up in the future. Consider using a tool such as Trello or Asana that makes it easy to create assignments, set due dates, and manage the overall workflow. Task management tools can assist with delivery dates that will need to be met while you are away from the office.
  • Bookkeeping Services: Management of accounts payable and accounts receivable can be a handful, especially when you are juggling this busy work with other business responsibilities. Bookkeeping is one of the first things you should outsource if you are looking for ways to free up your time. A great solution is to hire a bookkeeping service that pairs automated accounting software with the services that are offered. This cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting system helps to streamline the transactions as they are moving through your bank accounts. Then, the bookkeeping team can complete reconciliations and oversee the process to catch potential errors or issues that pop up.
  • Hire an Assistant: Hiring an assistant could be one way to free up your time, allowing you to focus on strategy instead of the menial tasks throughout the day. The right assistant can help with calendar management, phone calls, and administrative work like photocopies, vendor coordination, and more. It is important that you find someone who is proactive in their job. If the assistant is always waiting for instructions from you, then you might run into problems. The ideal solution is an assistant who is looking ahead and helping you stay on top of the tasks that need to be addressed.
  • Email Messages: When you are stepping away from the office for a few days, set up an autoresponder that notifies people when they send you an email. This message should list the dates you are gone, as well as a back-up point of contact if they need immediate assistance. Setting up the automated message allows you to ignore your inbox while having the peace of mind to know that someone is available to pick up the slack.

Schedule Vacation Time on Your Calendar

You know that the holidays are coming up, which means that right now is the time when you need to block out the calendar so that you can have a break. Schedule the days that you are planning with your family, then honor your commitment to take those days off. It might be tempting to fit in a quick phone call or meeting on one of those open days, but you need to remind yourself that it is important to honor your desire to take a break.

Even though there are high-priority tasks that need to be handled in the office, these things will still be waiting when you get back from your vacation. So, take time to share holiday traditions with your loved ones, without the worry about work getting in the way.

If you need help with business outsourcing, then our team is here to assist. At Easier Accounting, we provide small businesses with financial solutions that work. Contact us any time to learn more about the way we can personalize your bookkeeping and accounting systems to help you automate your business. Call our team at Easier Accounting to learn more about the available services for your small business accounting needs: (888) 620-0770.

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