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I know - sort of an oxymoron right?<br><br>
What do you do when you go away (without access to your business - gasp!) for a few days? I don't want to turn away sales and I'm hesitant to say we're away (ie. the house is empty sort of thing) but I don't want customers to go 3 days without hearing from me.<br><br>
Thanks for any advice!
 

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I typically try to let my clients know in advance that I won't be available certain days, but in the past 2+ years that I've worked at home, I have yet to take any vacation (aside from the odd half-day).<br><br>
If you have an e-business, maybe just post a message on the front page that says you'll be on vacation and will respond to all queries and orders upon your return (and give the dates). I think that would be quite reasonable. Also, if you have any custom orders in the works, perhaps a quick email to those customers letting them know would be in order (and if you have a yahoo group or mailing list, you could do the same thing).<br><br>
Hope this helps.
 

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I think many email programs can set up an auto-responder too, so maybe you can set that up for any emails you may get.
 

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I wish going away was an option! :LOL :LOL When we first started our company, we were tied to it 24/7. If we weren't at home, all business calls were forwarded to our cell phones. Everything was work, work, work. That was how it had to be for us.<br><br>
But now we have employees so they can pick up whatever slack we need. Ahhhh... Not that we go away still though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br><br>
I would recommend using auto-responder for email and recording a message for callers. Oh, and make sure your website clearly states your plans. You can still take orders, but make sure to list what day they will ship. This way all of your bases are covered. I don't think you will lose sales unless people don't know you are away. I know that one of my fave WAHMs takes time off and she just lets everyone know through her Yahoo group and on her site. The only reason I would choose another WAHM while she was away is if I needed something ASAP and couldn't wait for her estimated ship date.
 

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I use an autoresponder and, if possible, check my messages. I usually change my outgoing message, too. But I have a separate business line. And, many people who call, don't realize it's a home.<br><br>
If you post anything on your website, which I've done occasionally, I've read to put the announcement up as a graphic and not regular text, as it could be spidered and they'll read that message.
 

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I have a similar situation.<br><br>
Here's what I found works best...<br><br>
Do not post on your site that you are gone and will get back to people. You will lose sales. Instead, let people order first, and in their confirmation tell them you are out of town and will process the order when you get back. Thus, no lost sales. Once a person has gone to the trouble or ordering they are usually okay about wiating a few days.<br><br>
If you post on your site that you are out of town, people might say, "Ah, well, I'll order when she gets back" and fail to return.
 

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I *just* returned from a 2 week vacation.<br><br>
In the past, I've closed my business for a couple of weeks after the birth of my children. During that time, I left my website up, but posted that I would be closed to orders for the month. I noticed considerable loss of sales when I reopened. I didn't mind, because I was taking care of a newborn at the time.<br><br>
But during my vacation this time, I contracted with a friend to take care of my business. I wrote up a manual for her, and gave her access to all of my accounts. I've known this friend for a really long time, but it was still a little scary to hand over my business. She did a great job, and I think I'd feel comfortable leaving the business in her hands again.<br><br>
An important point is that I didn't hire my friend as an employee, but as an independant contractor. That means, I don't set her hours or require her to be present at a particular time. And because she's an independant contractor (and not an employee), I don't have to deduct taxes or anything like that. Makes it easier for me!
 

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i dont 'go away longer then for a few days generally, a week at the very most. We do not post we're closed, we do have an auto responder tell folks when orders will be shipped upon our return. I also do post to the message boards and groups i'm a part of and let folks know when i'll be gone and when i'll be back.<br><br>
also make sure any auctions you have going on dont' end while on vacation. that tends to upset folks lol
 

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We do two things with dh's web site...his Dad is a subcontractor for us, so usually one or the other of us can manage the email. We sometimes post that any orders received will be shipped on such and such date--without actually saying that we're away (it makes me a little nervous to do that because our address is on the web site). Otherwise, dh has a laptop with wireless internet service (yeah I know like who can afford that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ? His office--'real job'--pays for it since they require him to be on call 24/7 in case a server crashes, etc, so it's a nice perk).<br><br>
Also, we can usually use anyone's computer to access our email, so we frequently connect wherever we're visiting, or you could find a cyber cafe and pay for a half hour every couple of days if you need to check--there aren't many places that you can't find internet access if you need it, these days!
 
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