Summer Holiday season is fast approaching (far too fast, if you ask me!) and now is a great time to start preparing your VA business for all the fun that August brings!

Perhaps you’ve got children at home for the seemingly endless summer vacation, or you’ve got clients and/or prospects that go AWOL for weeks at a time as they chase the elusive Summer sunshine?

Whatever is on the cards for you this Summer, with some carefully pre-planning you too can make some time for fun in the sun this year!

Here are my top 4 tips for a stress-free Summer – so you can get back to enjoying the sun:

  1. Spread the workload – If you are planning to go away for a week or two, or will be working reduced hours around your family, why not set aside a little extra time now to get ahead with your work? Obviously, not every VA task is suited to being completed in advance (diary and inbox management, for example!), but if you create content for blogs, social media or emails, then an extra 30 mins every day between now and August could help ensure that you can continue to deliver your service without break, even if you are out of the office!  As long as your customers know what your availability is in July/August/September, most won’t complain about having their work completed a little early! So long as they know that it might be a little more challenging (or impossible) for you to produce content immediately or respond to a breaking news article ‘live’, most customers won’t begrudge you a holiday!
  2. Set aside specific work hours – If your working schedule is set to change over the Summer, be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve (and sustain!) without putting yourself under too much pressure.  If you are working around your family, 5 solid hours of work in the middle of the day may not be achievable without a network of support from family and friends.  However, a couple of hours in the afternoon (enough time for a Disney movie and some ‘quiet time’ after a morning attempting to exhaust the miniature army of your own creation) could be feasible, as could a couple of hours after the children’s bedtime.  If your VA role requires you to be at your desk and available constantly between certain hours, now is the time to speak to your client and work out how quality service can be maintained and delivered over the Summer if your availability is reduced.
  3. Check in with your customers – If you haven’t already, check in with your customers now to find out if they are away over the Summer period and will, therefore, be away from their desks and phones.  This insight will help you plan your own Summer more effectively, and allow you to find a workaround if you and they are both away at the same time.
  4. Consider associate cover – EVERYONE deserves a break every now and then, so don’t feel as though you need to chain yourself to the desk this Summer and hold down the fort whilst everyone else is off gallivanting! If you deliver a service that can’t be completed in advance, speak to your client about providing VA cover via an associate whilst you are away.  Although this will obviously mean that your income for the holiday period is reduced, you will find it far easier to relax knowing that you don’t have to check your work emails every 3.5 minutes as you have an experienced professional in place keeping everything ticking over whilst you are away. 

If you want to continue to deliver the same top-quality service that your customers have become used to, you NEED a break!

Don’t overstretch yourself this Summer by spreading yourself too thinly across family and work… take some time out for you and come back feeling refreshed and revitalised and ready for the new (academic) year in September – your body, mind and customers will thank you for it!