You run a home business, but something has come up. Maybe you have been invited to a wedding, perhaps you need to attend a funeral or perhaps you’re having an operation. In the real world, CEOs can leave their business in the hands of their chosen deputy. But when you’re running it alone and from home, who do you leave it to? Well, there are some services you can use to hopefully replicate your presence at the office of your business. It's true that you will have to cease most operations but you can keep your company ticking over on idle. Remaining semi-functional is far better than literally disappearing off the map. So, here are some ways you can prepare to leave your home business unattended but not unmanned.
You’ve got a call
When you’re in a relationship with other businesses, your clients will want to send you important information over the phone. This could be things like an upcoming contract, the details of a sales report, an ongoing internal inquiry issue, a request for higher funds or perhaps a legal notice of some kind. But since you’re not going to be at home, you’ll need to hire the services of a virtual office. Using their virtual receptionist service, all your clients can rest assured that their call will be handled by real human beings. The virtual office will then forward the message to you or you can receive them when you’re ready. What’s great is, you can have the receptionist give out a specific message to your clients when they call. This could be a way to give notice for when you’ll be back or what further actions they can take while you’re away.
Keep the content flowing
If you’re going to be away for a while, your main objective for your customers is to figuratively keep an ‘open’ sign in your shop window. Your business blog and other content channels should be releasing content in a scheduled manner. Pre-write all the blogs you would normally upload and have them release sequentially just as if nothing has changed. You may not be able to reply to the comments you receive, but at least your clients and customers have something to digest. The same goes for your video content on your YouTube channel. Recording and editing the videos prior to your temporary leave, you can set them on a timer. YouTube will automatically publish the videos you have in the queue, even if you’re not logged in. These two things keep the content flowing and give the appearance of ‘business as usual’.
Do the minimum
There’s one easy way to keep your business ticking over even while you’re not at the helm. Social media apps on your smartphone should be utilized as much as possible. Save all your pictures, graphics and videos onto a cloud system prior to leaving. Then via your smartphone, you can grab and publish them onto your social media accounts. Your presence will remain in the minds of your customers and clients for almost no work at all. This is the bare minimum which you should be doing, no matter how far away from your office you are.
Slow down and assess
It's quite common for home businesses to be using the services of freelancers. If you do have designers and artists working for you, inform them of the sudden but temporary slowdown. Tell them not to finish their work just yet as you don’t have time to assess it properly. You may also wish to inform them that they have more time to smooth out the edges in their work. For example, if they could previously only give you the first draft, allow them to give you two or three. However, you may need to pay them a little extra for their more thorough approach to your requests. The only other option is to stop all outsourced work while you’re away but this will cause damage to your productivity. It will also set your business schedule back, so it's better to allow for more time and pay a little extra to keep on schedule.
Even if you have to leave your home business unattended, this doesn’t mean it has to be unmanned. Hire services that can keep your business ticking over and active in some form. You can also write your blog content far in advance of the publishing date. The same goes for your video content on YouTube, as you have a content queue system at your disposal. Hiring a virtual office receptionist to take your calls and relay messages to clients will also prevent harm to your professional relationships.