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Women in Business

How to Prepare to Be Out of the Office (a checklist for solopreneurs)

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Whether you have a conference, client meetings, or a vacation, there will be times as a solopreneur or blogger you’ll have to be away from your desk. That’s great, because it means you are learning, you have clients, or you are taking some time off.

Yay for you!

But when you’re out of your normal routine, it can be tough to stay on top of tasks that are no brainers when you are in the office.

You’ll be relieved to find out with a little bit of preparation, you can set yourself (and your blog or business) up for a headache free absence from your desk.

Even bloggers and solopreneurs take vacations, or have to step away from the computer to attend a conference or other meetings. Prepare for this time out of the office before you leave, to reduce stress and make it easy to come back to work. | Blog Tips
9 To Do Items to Prepare for Being Out of the Office (a checklist for solopreneurs)

1 | SCHEDULE BLOG POSTS AHEAD OF TIME

If you’ve been consistently blogging, keep up the momentum (aka Google juice). Before you head out on your adventure, write blog posts that can be dripped out to readers at the same frequency as usual.

The majority of blogging platforms allow you to schedule blog posts ahead of time. The typical steps include creating a post in draft mode and then selecting the date/time you want your post to go live on your site.

2 | SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS AHEAD OF TIME

Use a tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Edgar to set up posts in advance. I use Hootsuite to set up a week’s worth of posts using their Bulk Scheduler capability.

If you receive customer service issues for your business via platforms such as Twitter, be sure to add a post to that effect every day and perhaps even temporarily update your social media profiles letting others know.

3 | ADD AN OUT OF OFFICE REPLY TO YOUR EMAILS

An automated reply to your emails will let potential clients, and others, know there is a legitimate reason you’re not answering. This simple action will keep them from assuming you are a flake or ignoring them.

4 | IF NECESSARY, LET CLIENTS KNOW AHEAD OF TIME SO THEY CAN ASK QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU LEAVE

For those solopreneurs who work directly with clients, give them a heads up about your time off so they have ample time to address any issues before you are absent. Not only will this action earn you brownie points with clients, it will help prevent having to interrupt that great conference break out session to answer a panicked email.

5 | UPDATE VOICEMAIL MESSAGE

When clients fail to read your out of the office reply or prospects contact you and then hear crickets, the next thing they’ll do is try to call you.

For those who are better listeners than readers, be sure to update your voicemail indicating the dates you will be unreachable. Also, let callers know if you will be returning calls as you receive voicemails or wait until you get back to work.

6 | CLEAN OUT EMAIL INBOX AND VOICEMAIL BOX SO IT DOESN’T GET FULL WHILE YOU ARE GONE

Prevent frustration for others by ensuring there is plenty of available space in your voicemail and email inboxes. Take a few minutes to check your space limitations or better yet, go through and delete a bunch of old messages.

7 | PAY ANY BILLS THAT ARE DUE WHILE YOU ARE GONE

Go through that pile of bills and pay anything that you normally would pay while you are gone. Or consider setting up automatic transfer payments for things such as utilities that are recurring payments.

If you have automatic transfers set up for many of your expenses, ensure there is enough in your account to cover any payments that are set to come up.

8 | BLOCK TIME OFF ON YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE DAY YOU GET BACK

Don’t jump back into meetings immediately.

Create a day or at least a morning of buffer time for yourself. Give yourself time to catch up with your emails and phone calls, and also to deal with any new action items that may have come in while you were gone.

9 | CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK

You’ll feel so much better if your desk and work area are clean and inviting when you return to work. Having lots to do feels even more overwhelming when you are sitting at a dirty desk.

Author Bio: Megan

Megan wants to live in a world where rainy days are for naps, wheat beer is not just for summer, and her dog always wants to snuggle. When she’s not snapping iphone photos, you can find her creating beautiful websites for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Her latest project — Prepare Your Square — is currently booking clients to have their Squarespace websites created in one day. Learn how you can have a website designed for you without having to take out a loan or feeling like you want to throw your laptop.

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