5 tools that give you the confidence to take a vacation


The most important tool you can use to enjoy a real vacation without too many worries is a little thing called “delegation.”

However, for those of us – and we are many – who can’t completely let go of the reins when we’re away from our businesses, here are five tools that will give you the confidence to take (and enjoy) a vacation.

  1. Social media customer service. You can use Twitter or Facebook – I recommend Twitter – to handle your customer service. This way, you can get a real-time picture of any problems that are brewing back at your business while you’re on the beach. I’ve written on the topic before and Bryan Haines has a great article over on Buffer that goes over 14 examples of businesses using social media for customer service.
  2. Slack. Think of Slack as instant messaging on steroids developed expressly for businesses. You can integrate it with all kinds of third-party apps and services, such as Google drive, so sharing progress and ideas in a complicated business environment is easy and immediate. You can also divide your crew into teams so you don’t bother people with messages that don’t concern them.
  3. Google Video Hangout. Hate missing those regular morning meetings with your employees? Why not move it to a Google Video Hangout so you can still attend and put in your two cents. Many companies today exist only in the virtual world and they use Google Video Hangouts for their “company” meetings.
  4. Basecamp. Do you typically leave a long list of to-do’s when you head out the door for your vacation? With Basecamp, you’ll know exactly when they’ve been completed. And, if you get more bright ideas when you’re poolside in Vegas, you can create another to-do, assign it to someone, and give it a due date.
  5. Pipedrive. Most small business owners will want to know how sales are going and be assured that their sales team is keeping the funnel filled and flowing. Pipedrive is an excellent – and simple – customer relationship management system that will get the job done. Also, it’s flexible enough to be used for non-sales processes. If you have anything where employees or customers go through a series of steps, Pipedrive can be set up to handle it.

Before I leave this topic and start planning my next vacation, let me mention one more bonus of integrating one or more of these apps or systems into your small business: Your team will be more productive even when you aren’t on vacation!