The Holiday Specials – Episode 2 Special Report

Planning, Videos,

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to holiday! In the second of our series of three videos around holidays and the impact they can have, we’re preparing the team to manage without you…


Hi and welcome to this special series of videos from BaranovTV around holidays.

We’re definitely at that time of year at the moment, we’re just going into July, and it is really that period where business owners are desperately trying to get a break. You’ve got members of the team out, and you’re just desperately trying to juggle everything and still make sure the cash is coming through the door, and that the work is going out.

This series of videos is designed to help you structure your business and your team correctly to maximize your peace of mind whilst you’re away, and really give you the benefit of that break, but making sure that the business continues to function and function well.

The third episode is around overcoming the seasonality within a lot of businesses, not necessarily having down time over the summer, when is the typical time that we’re thinking of, but also during quiet periods in the run-up to Christmas. If you’ve got a real seasonal variation within your business, overcoming that issue, and making sure everyone is kept busy and the business is kept profitable.

This is episode two, when we’re going to be talking about how to ensure that your team are well set up, for you to disappear off into that sunset on my screen, and really get some downtime and some piece of mind.

Now for your team left behind whilst you’re on holiday, depending on how experienced they are, how confident they are, it can also be really unsettling for you, as their point of reference, to disappear off. They don’t necessarily want to contact you. They’re worried about doing so, but equally they’re worried about making sure that they can make the right decisions, particularly as I say, if they’re quite new.

So a lot of the points I’m going to cover will depend on the experience, and the knowledge and the confidence of your staff that you’ll be leaving holding your baby whilst you’re on holiday. Please bear that in mind when you’re listening to these, and actually implementing them within your business.

First up I would definitely say that you need to have a really detailed brainstorming session with your key members of your team before you go away. You need to go through the kinds of things that you deal with on a day to day basis, that you want them to deal with. Some things you’ll be able to park until you’re back, other things you won’t, and it’s those things that you need to give them as much information on as you can.

  • It could be dealing with a new customer.
  • It could be dealing with a complaint.
  • It could be dealing with a delivery or something random that happens to you, within your business that you take care of that they will need to deal with.

Explain what you’d do, explain why you’d do it; it is the WHY that actually is almost more important than the how, because you’re explaining the logic behind how you operate. And it’s that logic that they’ll then be able to deploy to other situations that you haven’t foreseen. Because it’s that logic which is fundamental to your business, because that’s based on the business values.

Disney employ something ridiculous, like 60,000 additional members of staff across all their parks over the summer period. Now if you think about having that number of people coming into your business, regardless of the size of it, you can’t possibly hope to train them into every situation, but what Disney do is they actually train them on the values of the business. One of which, the one that’s paramount, is that safety of the park visitors is paramount, so everything else goes out the window. They can wear their costumes in the wrong areas, and all sorts of things if they’re making sure that their park visitors are safe. It’s things like that that you need to be thinking about and the equivalent in your business.

What is paramount and what do you want your staff to be absolutely focused on protecting?

  1. You need to agree, probably, a process of contact. For a business owner going on holiday for probably the first time, when they’re really trying to have a lot of downtime, you want to have the peace of mind that everything is okay at home. Your staff need to have, as I said before, that peace of mind that it’s okay to contact you, but you want to manage that contact and that process of contact. It could be that at the end of each day they send you an email to say this is what’s happened, this is what I’ve dealt with, so that when they come in the next morning you can guide them, or whatever else. It could be that actually you decide that you’re in a similar time zone and actually it works really well to have a morning conversation once they’re in so they can run you through everything. You can talk things through with them, and you can give them that guidance. It gives them the peace of mind, but it also means that they can in all confidence say to your customers if there’s an enquiry within the day that they can’t handle, they can in confidence say, “I can come back to you within 24 hours.” which realistically at this time of year is acceptable to customers.
  2. Give them the power to be able to actually make some decisions. Make sure that they know what the criteria are that you would accept, and make sure that they know that they need to be able to explain to you the logic that they made their decision under, once you’re back. It can be really enlightening the decisions that people make, because it can give you a totally different view on how they’ve done things, that you wouldn’t necessarily have looked at, which can be really enlightening.
  3. Make sure that you’ve emailed out, as I said in episode one to your customers that you’re on holiday. They’ll know to expect then that things might be slightly different, and there may not be the prompt response that you would normally provide, but forewarned is forearmed and then they won’t mind.
  4. Think about an answering service, again which I talked about in episode one. Not to be done the day before you go on holiday, but it just means that it takes the pressure off your team, to make sure that those things are dealt with properly and you’re not missing any key enquiries.

The overwhelming thing to remember is this is a two way street. Your team need that peace of mind the same as you do.

If you can put some time in, in advance of your holiday, you’ll really get some benefit from it, and hopefully you’ll come back refreshed, reinvigorated, with lots of new ideas too, because you’ve had that head space, and ready to hit the ground running after your holiday.

So have a great time, invest some time in advance and I’ll see you in episode three, to talk about overcoming seasonality of your business.

You can see Episode 1 here.

You can see Episode 3 here.

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