A year after I started my business I started to feel like I really, really needed to take a vacation. I had finally moved my business from zero clients to ten clients and I was working pretty insane hours. At the same time though, I was also anxious about taking an extended vacation and how my clients would feel knowing I would be out of town. I run a social media company for Summer Camps and since it requires daily work on my end, I was also a little worried about how it would go with setting expectations on when work would get done.
The best advice I got from a fellow business owner is to communicate early and over-communicate to your clients about what will happen when you are out of the office. They can live without you for two weeks, but only if you give them a lot of comfort and support.
Here is the template I used for communicating my out of office dates to my clients. I sent out this email a full month in advance.
Hi CLIENT NAME-
This is an advanced communication to let you know that I will be out of the office from August 22nd until September 5th.
What does this mean for you?
1. Content- All content will be posted as expected. Your social media posts will go live at the dates and times listed in your content calendar.
2. Ads- All ads will run on schedule. If you would like to run a specific campaign during this time period please send me this request by 8/20.
What do I do if I have a question or request during this time period?
NAME will be handling all questions and requests during this time period. You can email her (EMAIL) or call her (PHONE NUMBER). NAME is well equipped to run any ad campaign, answer any last minute question or handle any request. Please continue to copy me on emails as I will review them all when I get home.
I am communicating this to you early so that we can have all of our ducks in a row prior to August 22nd. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I expect no lapse in your social media strategy or execution during this time period.
The email was really well received by my clients and most either 1) set up time to meet before I left town or 2) at least confirmed they would send over anything I needed before that date.
One week prior to leaving town I sent a follow up email in the same thread that said the following: This is just a reminder that I will be OOO starting on August 22nd. Please read this thread if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks!
After this, I received a few last minute requests, but nothing I couldn't handle with a week left before my two-week vacation.
I also set my out of office with the following information:
I am out of the office from Aug 22 until Sept 5. NAME will be handling all questions and requests during this time period. You can email her (EMAIL) or call her (PHONE NUMBER). If this is not an urgent request, I will respond to your email upon my return.
At this point, my clients 100% knew who to reach out to with questions or action items, but I also had taken the time to cross most items off of my to-do list before I left time.
Communicate early and often and I promise your anxieties about being away from your clients will be solved quickly. Now you just need to plan your vacation!