It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. No, not Christmas. Call me Scrooge, but searching for that perfect summer getaway is a lot more enjoyable than trudging around packed shopping centres looking for a novelty mug for your office Secret Santa. With kids breaking up from school in less than two months’ time (brace yourselves), we’re now entering the period of last minute deals, cheap mini-breaks and discount getaways. For one group, however, booking a holiday doesn’t just come with the usual headaches.
For entrepreneurs and small business owners, there’s a lot more to worry about than the itinerary, spending money, travel arrangements and finding someone to look after the pets. They also have to look after their business. Larger corporations and establishments have the luxury of having teams of people who can carry the company whilst the boss is away, but when it’s a very small team, any absence is felt, even if it’s only for a few days.
It’s well documented, the sacrifices small business owners make to ensure their business is a success, and quite often holidays and vacations are one of the first things on the scrap heap. But why should you work tirelessly to become your own boss, if you can’t make the most of it? With the ongoing emergence of online tools, as well as an array of free and paid online platforms to help run your business from almost anywhere in the world, there’s now even fewer reasons for you to say no to a little R&R.
Manage your projects from Portland
Basecamp is one of the leading dedicated project management platforms in the world. Offering a wide range of features including message boards and real time chat, check-ins and to-do lists, file storage, management and scheduling, it forms a central hub for teams to effectively manage projects big and small, and for the absent business owner, can prove an invaluable tool for keeping track of team movement and project progress.
Touch base with your team from the Taj Mahal
It’s all well and good saying that you’re not to going to take work on holiday with you, but in the real world, that’s just not practical, especially when you run a small business. Sometimes you want to know about that latest sale, or be kept in the loop about a certain project, but not spend hours by the poolside answering calls. Slack could be the answer. An all-in-one team communication platform, Slack enables you to hold conversations with different staff about different projects, share files and manage projects effectively. Like Pingdom, it is available as a web platform, desktop app and mobile app on both iOS and Android. It also integrates seamlessly with other services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Twitter.
Take that conference call whilst in Corsica
Let’s face it, when you’re on holiday, you want to spend as little time as possible doing work and if you have to, you want it to be quick and simple. Join.me is a tool with a mission – to help teams make collaboration simple, instant and continuous. Ideal for taking that last minute conference call that you just can’t get out of, it also has a number of other features from screen sharing to collaborative whiteboards that will help you get the work done and back to the beach in super quick time.
Track your to-do’s in Tokyo
In the Marketing team at Fleximize, we have approximately 21,847 things on the go at any one time, (that number may be exaggerated slightly but you get the point). I think any business owner can identify with this. Due to the number of projects on the go, we use Trello to help us manage individual tasks and whole projects from start to finish, share files for specific tasks and gather thoughts and ideas on proposals and plans. It’s drag and drop functionality and vast suite of add-ons help us manage what we’re doing on a day to day basis. How could it help a business owner on holiday? Without feeling like big brother, you’ll be able to see exactly what each team member is working on whilst you’re away.
Save your latest brainwave from a beach in Barbados
They say the greatest ideas come when you’re sat on the toilet. Now, there’s very little, if no scientific evidence behind this, but just in case, there’s Evernote. Wherever you are, be it a sun-drenched beach to a snow covered piste, if you have a brainwave, make sure Evernote is on your phone. Evernote, in its essence, is a cleverly structured and organised note-taking application, but it’s actually a whole lot more. With seamless syncing, easy sharing and the ability to search for individual words in a handwritten scribble on the back of a napkin, Evernote is a must have companion for any travel-hungry entrepreneur.
Monitor your website in Wollongong, Australia
If you run an e-commerce business or rely in any way on your online presence, then you’ll understand the importance of monitoring your website. Pingdom is a great tool for tracking uptime/downtime, performance and page speed as well as alerting you to any major website issues, via SMS, email or push notification. The best thing about it? Pingdom’s core features are available as mobile apps, available on both iOS and Android, meaning you don’t have to have a laptop connected to Wifi. Handy when you’re in the outback.
Schedule your social from Sri Lanka
When you’re in a café in Colombo, sampling the finest Sri Lankan cuisine, the last thing you want is to have to find content to share on your social media, for your business at least. Fortunately, there are platforms, such as Buffer, that enable you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, and more, all before you even start packing for your holiday. If used effectively it can be a great way to drive traffic to your social channels and website, increase fan engagement and save time on your social media presence.