Being a freelancer is all about freedom; you get to decide your daily schedule, arrange your obligations according to it and prioritize your workload as you see fit. But freelancing entails challenges as well. While being your own boss is great, managing your one-man shop is difficult because of all the roles you need to fulfill! Thankfully, automatic reminders or virtual assistants might lend a hand, not only when you are on vacation. However, if you absolutely have to take your work with you, our advice on how to succeed in working on vacation can be really helpful.
Freelancer on holidays
You get to realize how much everything depends on you when you need to take time off. It’s summertime and everyone is going on vacation, enjoying themselves and their loved ones’ company. You, on the other hand, need to get work done, deliver a project and make sure you’re available to your clients. The world won’t stop just because you need a break, of course, but you need to escape from work, at some point!
It’s important to find time to recharge, get off the grid, and stop thinking about work, paying the bills, and answering e-mails. All this is possible even if you’re a freelancer running your business all by yourself.
In this article, we’re going to provide you with tips on how to organize your work before going on vacation, without missing any important events or losing clients.
Notify your clients
The first step is to let clients know about your vacation plans. You can send them an email with the dates your business will remain closed and the exact date you’ll return to work.
Of course, this should be done several days prior to your vacation, so that any urgent matters are dealt with before you deactivate your phone and go scuba diving to a remote island with no cell phone reception!
Create a vacation “away message” to notify everybody about your absence every time they send you an email. Most email providers, offer this feature and enable you to set up an OOO (out of office) message easily. The message should include the dates you’ll be unavailable and the date you’ll be returning. The “out of office” email may include a partner’s contact information (someone you trust, obviously) that is able to help them instead of you, in the case of an emergency.
Here’s an example:
Thank you for your message! I will be out of the office between the 1st and 15th of August, so my response will be delayed. I will be back with you officially on August 16, but in the meantime, you can contact [partner’s name] for any pressing issues. Please Cc me if you do, so I can keep track of the matter.
Thank you in advance for your patience.”
If you don’t want to take a totally unplugged break, you can create a “secret” email address and give it to your most important clients to contact you if, and only if, something goes really bad. Be sure not to give it away like candy, because you’ll find yourself working on vacation and you don’t want that (do you?).
Hire a virtual assistant
If your business’s nature is extremely demanding and you literally can’t afford to close the office for some time off, you can always resort to hiring a virtual assistant.
You can hire a virtual assistant who can help you with administrative tasks and represent your business while you’re away without worrying things will fall behind or important calls will be missed.
A virtual assistant is a person with certain qualifications that can help you with your call center, respond to emails, and handle everyday repetitive tasks on your behalf while you’re away resting.
Before deciding to hire a virtual assistant, you need to decide whether you’ll choose a freelancer or browse through some virtual assistant companies. Due.com’s article here can be really useful in that direction and explain the differences between the two options.
Pay your bills before you leave
In order to enjoy your free time, you need to take care of your obligations as well. Track down your payable accounts and make sure you pay them before you take off. With Εlorus is super easy to do so, by the way. Your expenses can have due dates and when those dates arrive, you get automatic reminders via email and in-app for unpaid invoices and recurring bills (such as electricity, internet provider, rent, etc.)
Apart from the recurring bills, pay off your contractors earlier so they can enjoy their own holidays as well. Wouldn’t you want your clients to do the same for you? A little respect and appreciation can go a long way!
Schedule your payments
It would be ideal if your clients continued to pay you while you’re away, right? This could be easily accomplished if you have a cloud invoicing solution. Most applications now include automatic reminders for new and expired invoices.
You can create rules for the reminders to be sent when a new invoice is being created automatically. What’s more, those applications can send late payment reminders without you moving a finger. The reminders may contain a link so you can accept payment online as well.
Setting up invoice payment reminders to notify your clients will get you paid on time and ensure smooth cash flow, even when you’re away enjoying a mojito by the beach!
Save your money
Last but not least, before going on holiday you need to gather a certain budget so as to enjoy your time off without worrying you’ll run out of cash. One way to do that is to pick up some extra work before you leave to increase your holiday budget.
Another solution would be finding unique ways to save money and this is where we come in to help! You can read our money-saving tips from a previous article and decide which of these works best for you!
After making sure all the above is taken care of, you can fully “unplug” yourself and enjoy your holidays as much as you can. Remember that, vacation time is an opportunity to come back with fresh, new ideas and energized enough to put them into action!
Time for some holiday!
Ready to go? Remember to check if you have arranged everything before going on holiday to avoid stress later… Setting automatic reminders, using email auto-responses and in some cases hiring a virtual assistant gives a guilt-free holiday to every freelancer.