Small business owners often feel like they have to say goodbye to holiday leave, sick days, and all of the perks that come with a full-time employment contract.
We've had customers at OGOship that before partnering with us, haven't been able to take even two days off in fear of orders piling up and creating chaos upon their return.
Particularly in e-commerce, taking a holiday can feel just as stressful as being at work. It's often a juggling game between relaxing and spending time with family, while not missing a customer order, call from a supplier or SOS message from the staff.
It's exhausting, it's crazy, and it doesn't have to be that way.
Being away from the business might seem unrealistic — but with the right partners and organization, you'll take that dream holiday with only a few (okay, maybe daily) checks of your inbox. Best of all, your business will benefit from you coming back with a fresh, relaxed mind.
Now, before thinking about the logistics of how you'll get there, there are a few things you'll need to get sorted.
Be smart with your holiday dates
As an e-commerce business owner, there's never a 'perfect' time to take a holiday — but there are certain times of the year to avoid. Is it smart to take a holiday over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the weeks before Christmas? Maybe not. During the summer or after Christmas, however, could be a better option.
Understanding your sales volumes and how they fluctuate between seasons and around shopping holidays could give you a good idea of when the least hectic periods might be. Once you've figured that out, you can start setting up your e-commerce business to run smoothly while you're gone.
Communicate with your customers
This is all about setting expectations. If your customer support response time will vary while you're gone, let your customers know. People are more likely to be understanding when they have the information they need.
And if you run your logistics and shipping yourself, you'll need to notify your customers of a realistic delay in time from purchase to delivery.
Build your team, and trust them
If you have employees, taking a holiday is about trusting your team to sail the ship while you're away. It'll be uncomfortable if you have the all-too-common 'I need to do it all!' mentality, but it'll get easier with time.
If you don't have employees, partnering with a 3PL service to handle your picking, packing, warehousing and shipping can take a massive weight off your shoulders around holiday periods – both busy shopping holidays and your own time off.
How a 3PL partner helps you take a proper break
We might be biased, but we know that by partnering with a 3PL company like OGOship, our customers have more time and headspace to not only focus on their business' core strengths — but to really take a break when they need one.
The main benefits of partnering with a 3PL company when you're away from your business include:
1. Fast and cost-efficient shipping
If you have a 3PL partner, your orders can continue to be picked, packed and while you're not working. Even better, a partner with a global warehouse network will have your products stocked as close to your customers as possible – giving you peace of mind that no customer will be left waiting.
2. Access to additional staff to cover demand
Say you take a vacation and there's a sudden and unexpected increase in order demand. Without a 3PL partner, you'd likely either pack up the car and head home or spend the rest of your holiday hunched over your laptop (that you brought 'just in case').
With a 3PL partner, however, there's always access to additional staff to cover even the highest of seasonal demand or sudden order increases – without you having to hire internally.
3. A simple, stress-free order management system
For the moments you do need to check your new orders, a simple, well-functioning order management system will save your stress levels — particularly if it integrates with your business' other e-commerce platforms. So, instead of checking four different systems, just check one.
How to choose a 3PL partner?
If you hadn't already guessed it, OGOship and myOGO do everything we've just mentioned, and more. While our mission is to make sure our customers can ship goods fast and cost-effectively, we also want you to be able to enjoy the flexibility that comes with being a small business owner.
Whether you've got a vacation in mind or you're just looking to gain more time to focus on growing and improving your business, we'd love to help. Get in touch with our team for a personalized quote from your business here.