Last summer, I took my first full-time vacation from my online business. That’s right. The queen of systems and delegation finally put her words into action and went off the grid.
We all know how it goes. We may feel supported by the loyalty of our clients or the competence of our team members. But our online business is our baby. It’s hard to log off completely and have faith that the ship will remain afloat in our absence. But let’s be honest. If you harbor doubts that things won’t be handled smoothly in your absence, you haven’t scaled your online business properly.
Are you feeling chained to your desk chair with no hope of being able to vacation from your online business? These are the areas of your business that need improvement immediately.
Systems for your online business
I systematized my online business long before I hired my first team member. Every repeatable task that I perform for clients on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis is mapped out in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Before I made my first hire, these systems made me look like a rockstar to my clients and helped jog my memory if I was ever unsure how to proceed on any given day.
For VAs and OBMs who one day want to scale their business to take on more clients, SOPs are their bread and butter. With smart systems in place, you can hire a virtual team to carry out your SOPs, delegate to a less costly resource, and start scaling your online business to its full potential.
Building a virtual team for your online business
I worked with a single, part-time virtual assistant for over a year when I was just starting to build my business. She took on the repeatable tasks for my clients and allowed me the time to focus on my favorite aspect of online business management: strategy! With my part-time VA following my SOPs, I was able to devote more time to beefing up strategy for my current clients, take more discovery calls from potential clients, and streamline my own online business strategy.
While my first team member took over tasks that I was doing on my own (but couldn’t continue doing if I wanted to bring on more clients), my second hire filled a hole that was seriously lacking in my business: content writing.
These hires were strategic in every sense of the word. There were months when I was pulling my hair out over the amount of client work I had. But I was not willing to hire on a team until I found the people who were the perfect fit for my business.
Before, I was in charge of strategy, writing, tech troubleshooting, AND project management. But now I have two extremely competent team members that I trust. And with all the new clients I was able to woo with my increased strategy time, I was even able to promote one of them to full time! One covers writing. One covers the tech. Together, they project manage all of my clients.
What’s left for me to cover in order to take a vacation? Just the strategy.
Delegating in your online business
In order for my vacation to be as seamless a transition as possible for myself and my team, I put in some serious time planning my delegation strategy for my time away. And this strategy began months ago!
Over the course of the spring, I began giving my team members more responsibility. It started slow, and built over time. On certain days, I made myself less available on Slack and email (a vacation test-run, if you will.) I knew that my team members were capable of strategizing and problem solving when left to their own devices. But I was still a security blanket. This had to end.
During this time, I spent more time talking over more complex tasks with them a few days before they were due. I was more generous sharing the inner-workings of my strategic mind. And I wasn’t as quick to intervene if projects weren’t being managed EXACTLY the way I would have managed them. And you know what? They soaked it right up. I’m not saying it was easy, and that I didn’t have to do a bit of damage control here and there when things got sticky. But leaving my team members to their own devices occasionally has been beneficial for all of us.
My sense of freedom has incrementally increased. And their sense of power and ownership over the projects that they’re managing has increased as well. And when I closed my computer for the last time before hopping in my car to New York City, I was confident that my ship wouldn’t just be afloat, but sailing proudly upon my return.
Now over to you: What’s stopping you from taking a vacation from your online business?