Gone fishing: What’s a customer to do?

On vacation_3

Imagine this scenario: You work hard, work hard, work hard, building your business. You put in lots of time and energy getting your customers to know you, trust you, and love your products. Your goal is to delight every customer, and you’ve been pretty successful at doing that. Your customers rely on you. You’ve developed a reputation they can depend on. And then one day, your customers show up and see the sign.

“But wait a minute! How can you go on vacation! I need (insert whatever it is you sell here)! What am I supposed to do while you’re on vacation. I guess I’ll have to find someone else to fulfill my need.” says your customer.

Has all your hard work gone out the window? In a lot of instances, your loyal customers will return when you come back from vacation. But there will be some you will lose because when they were ready to buy, you weren’t available.

So what’s a business owner to do when it comes to taking a vacation? Do they:

Let the good times roll!

– Close up shop for two weeks out of the year, and get some much needed rest and relaxation in. Unfortunately, while the shop is closed, business comes to a screeching halt, no sales are made, no money is made, and some customers may be upset.

Keep making the donuts

– Work, work, work on and in your business, delighting customers as you go. You’ll take a rest one day, maybe in a few years.
Many business owners see their options as being limited to either A or B noted above. But in both of these situations, someone always ends up losing out. So what’s a business owner to do? Don’t fret, there is another way.

Scale your business.

Set your business up in a way that it can run (smoothly) without you. That way, you can take vacation when you want, work when you need to, and still serve your customers all at the same time. This may mean that there are multiple ways that your customers are able to access your products, such as online, or through a third party. It may also mean that you bring on very capable people to work with you that are able to keep the lights on when you’re not around. There are multiple ways you can do this, however creating a business that is still able to function in your absence does take some focus. It may be a bit more work to do this up front, but the benefits will prove more than worth it when you find yourself able to take some time away without setting your business back. And that’s a win win for all.

How do things work in your business when you need to take a vacation?