When is the last time you took a vacation? Were you actually able to unplug from your child care business and relax? Or were you tied to your phone and email the whole time, handling emergencies remotely?
Getting away from our businesses every once in a while allows us to rejuvenate and come back recharged. When we can unplug and unwind a little, we are then able to invest ourselves more fully in our business when we are there. But I know some business owners simply don’t think they can do this.
Since I am heading for a little vacation to Europe (whoot! whoot!), I thought I’d share some of the systems and tools I use so that I am actually able to get away from my business every once in a while.
Tools where you can share information in real-time are vital. We often use Google Apps for this. Within Googls Apps you can find Google Calendar, which allows you to share any kind of calendar you want with others. They can see it updated in real time. Many of my employees have their personal calendars on there so we know what is going on with each other, as well as our work calendars and our marketing calendars. You can do the same thing for holidays, events, curriculums, marketing etc.
Basecamp, Slack, Trello and other similar websites also provide ways to share information with everyone in real time. These tools keep everyone in the loop about what is happening in the business and with each other. See what technology works best for you for communications with your team and start using them on a regular basis.
Project management is another big one I get asked about. At Child Care Marketing, we have a detailed project dashboard on a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet also says who is in charge of that project and when it is due. We put it in Google Drive so everyone can use and see it. This really helps with keeping tack of the bigger projects that are happening.
Basecamp is a detailed project management tool that allows you to even further break down big projects into smaller tasks, delegate, and set due dates. People will get task messages in their email and past due messages as well. This is a great tool to use when you are away to know what everyone is working on and allows your employees to manage themselves while you’re away.
Decision-making may be another reason why you can’t get away. Of course as a child care business you need someone there every day that has the power to make decisions and it usually ends up being the owner at all times. When you don’t delegate decision making abilities, you end up being a bottleneck in the business.
Choose one or two key members that you trust. Train them on policies, procedures, etc. and give them authority to become decision makers in your business whenever you aren’t there.
In this same vein, empowerment to your team as a whole is very important. If you are micro-managing all the small details you will never be able to get away from your business. You need to set a culture of empowerment, delegation, and responsibility. Sometimes here at Child Care Marketing we will even make decisions as a team. It can be very helpful to get feedback and input from those that know the business sometimes even better than yourself.
Hopefully these tips and tools help. Now take some time off! You will be more productive, happier, and relaxed when you get back. In the meantime, stay tuned for some pics from my Europe trip.