Managing a business from home


21st December, 2016

5 tips for managing a business from home (i.e.: your swimming pool)

It’s the dream of business owners around the world: what if you could run your business while sipping Pina Coladas by the pool?

This time of year it’s a dream popping into plenty of minds, but few are planning on making the fantasy a reality.

Our latest SME Snapshot found that one in four SME owners were planning to either take no holidays at all or just take the public holidays off.

The rest are taking well-deserved breaks, but what if you could have the best of both worlds and take your business with you while you get some much-needed sun?

1. To the cloud!

There’s a reason taking your business to the cloud is one of our favourite topics: it’s a much more effective way of working.

It also allows you to work remotely, which means that if you lock the keys in the office you’re not locked out of being able to pay staff and carry on your business.

Having software like MYOB Essentials means you can tap into the nerve centre of your business at any time.

You can even manage your bank feeds with the tap of a button (literally! …if you’ve set up your rules correctly), which leaves more time for soaking up the sun.

Meanwhile being On The Go means you can issue invoices and receive payments on the spot rather than waiting until February next year to get paid.

Technology has enormous potential to free up your time and allow the stressed SME owner to take some time out.

Project management tools such as Basecamp allow you to work on projects with others remotely, and Dropbox lets you to transfer files with ease.

Why not give Hootsuite a go and schedule social media posts over your break to keep the marketing rolling?

These are just three of the thousands of cloud-based tools available to business owners to work remotely – where you choose to work is entirely up to you.

That said, there still are a few things you should do before you embark on your break.

2. Getting ready

Just because you can work remotely doesn’t mean that you should.

In an ideal world, a business owner would be able to switch off completely and spend their time in the sun with a cocktail and a bestseller.

That may not be entirely possible, but you can give yourself the best possible shot at bliss by doing some preparation before you go.

3. Appoint a 2IC (second in charge)

If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to appoint a person who you trust to manage the day-to-day of your business.

For them, it’s an opportunity to step up and show that they’re ready to take on increased responsibilities – for you it’s an opportunity to step away for a bit.

It’s important not to appoint a 2IC out of desperation though.

The consequences of leaving somebody unprepared in charge can be disastrous for you, the business, and them.

4. Make a to-do list

While the day-to-day routine of running the business may be down-pat with your staff, it can’t hurt to leave a to-do list behind.

Are there certain larger tasks that need to be tackled during the break, such as sorting the stock room out?

A good to-do list will give employees direction and make sure you’re not paying them to twiddle their thumbs.

5. Make sure rostering is up to date

At this time of year, a lot of people want to spend more time with their families – with good reason.

This means that staff will want time off. Juggling all of that can be a logistical nightmare.

Make sure before you leave you get all your staff to get their preferred dates for leave in, and then try to come up with the best solution.

If you’re so inclined, you can manage your rostering remotely with tools such as Tanda.

And finally…

Make sure you slip, slop, slap.

All that time at the pool may be relaxing, but could leave you literally red-faced if you’re not prepared…