How To Take Time Off Without Losing E-Commerce Sales

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For an e-business owner, taking a vacation can be scary and challenging—even more so if you’re running the whole show. But it doesn’t need to be that way. With careful preparation and planning, you can take a well-deserved break without feeling stressed out about losing sales. 

A vacation can do great things for yourself, your customers, and your business. It’s a mental and physical break you need. You’ll come back with a fresh perspective and renewed energy to manage your business and other moneymakers, like your vacation home investment. You’ll learn that your employees can run the business without you for a few weeks. By showing faith in them, you’re also cementing employee relations.  

If you’re still thinking twice, we’re volleying some tips for managing your business during your time off: 

1. Complete Major Tasks Ahead of Time 

If you don’t have a vice president, finding a temporary replacement can be tricky. In that case, it’s crucial to get any major task off your list before taking a vacation to avoid major issues like downtime. Once it happens during your time off, you may lose sales. 

Some of the major tasks you can do before your vacation could include monthly financial planning, restocking popular items, website maintenance, incentivizing orders, and keeping shipping supplies well-stocked and prepared. If possible, avoid planning any major campaign, event, or announcement before your vacation. 

2. Hire A Virtual Assistant 

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be an excellent decision, especially if you don’t have an in-house team. If you’ve recently been granted a working capital loan, then this setup can especially work in your favor. 

VAs are the remote staff you can hire to keep your customers or prospects engaged and assist them with their administrative and technical concerns. Here’s how a virtual assistant can particularly help with running your business while you’re away on vacation: 

  • Handles Business Transactions: If you’re a one-man team, hiring a VA sales rep makes sense. A VA can handle orders as they come and ensure the shipping process is seamless and according to schedule. 
  • Serves As Your Customer Service Representative: Your customers will likely reach out to you when they need assistance with the products they’re buying or inquire about your items. With a VA, you’re sure that your customers and prospects will be well attended to if you have a representative to assist them with their concerns or other pain points. 
  • Creates Newsletters Or Other Marketing Materials: Providing an email newsletter regularly is one of the ways to boost sales and get more leads. Providing updates about your eCommerce brand’s latest products, news, services, and deals can help promote your business. You can assign a VA to create newsletters or other promotional materials and send them on schedule. 
  • Helps With Your Marketing Processes: You can also assign a VA to handle the scheduled promotion of your services and products on various online platforms so you can still stay right on your marketing schedule. 

The best thing about VAs is that they are typically affordable and have great flexibility in skills and knowledge, so the learning curve won’t present much of a problem. 

3. Delegate Tasks 

As an e-business owner, you wear many hats to stay competitive. But there are crucial CEO tasks that you can delegate to your staff. Ideally, they are tasks that still fall within their scope of abilities or job description—for instance, running social media pages, managing inventory, and handling customer emergencies. So before taking time off, you should assign some of your crucial tasks to your staff. 

When delegating tasks, make sure to have a corresponding set of work instructions, which your staff can easily refer to when necessary. It lessens the need for them to call you for clarification. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips for delegation: 

  • Show Belief And Have Faith: Let all your employees know that you believe they can carry out all the responsibilities in your absence. Leave your team with expectations that everything will run smoothly while you’re away. When you do, this will put them on a more mature plane (personally and professionally), lessen their stress levels and yours, and especially strengthen your bond. 
  • Demonstrate Instructions Before You Leave: Explain every task and provide a demo to your employees. Doing so can help them do a run-through, which can help you determine which processes need to be improved so your employees can complete the tasks properly. 
  • Teach And Don’t Preach: Explain the purpose of the task and its significance to the company’s operations. Skip out on stressing about the repercussions if they fail to do something. Instead, highlight the possible ways they can mitigate the damage if the worst does happen. After all, you’re the person who stands to gain more in this scenario. Not only will it impress your employees, but it may also motivate your employees to do their best in performing tasks. 
  • Check In: Spend a few minutes to check in with them daily and see how your employees are doing. Find a balance between giving them enough responsibilities and micromanaging while you’re away. After all, the primary purpose of a vacation is to let you unplug even for a little while and replenish your vigor. 

The best part of delegating tasks is that it doesn’t need to end once you return from your vacation. You can consider it as a test run. If your employees can handle countless responsibilities for a week, they may want to work on more tasks regularly. But, first and foremost, be clear about the incentives for the extra hours they will need to render. This way, they’ll be genuinely motivated to do additional workload. 

4. Automate Whenever Possible 

Your eCommerce business doesn’t need to shut down while you’re on vacation. With today’s technology, automation can elevate your eCommerce business and allow you to run it efficiently and increase your sales even while you’re on vacation. Consider taking time to look into these tools: 

  • Reporting Tools: If you want to stay updated, a reporting tool can be helpful. These tools can provide your team with real-time dashboards wherein you can post daily reports. 
  • Email Automation Tools: If you don’t want to lose sales during your vacation, it’s imperative to be responsive to customers’ queries or concerns. With an email automation tool, you can set automatic replies and schedule them to send depending on the nature of the customer’s concern. So it will give you time to create a more personalized message. 

In addition, email automation tools can help you send scheduled newsletters. If you’re taking a long vacation, make a list of topics that your team can write about, and make a schedule. 

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  • Social Media Management Tools: Maintaining the social presence of your eCommerce business is essential to stay relevant in your niche. Without it, you may lose potential customers. You can use social media management tools to handle your accounts and even schedule your posts, so you won’t need to stay online during your time off. 

 5. Set A Communication Plan With Your Staff 

Every business activity must be discussed and transparent within your team when necessary. It’s how you prepare them to take responsibility and make their own decisions. 

When you’re on vacation, maintaining open communication with your team is all the more crucial. If you’ve planned some time away, have a communication policy. You’ll need to schedule your availability, which should include emergencies and other pressing matters. It’s essential to be clear about the circumstances wherein your staff can reach you. Agree on the times when you’ll have a team call or when you’ll likely respond to messages and emails. 

Internet access is now available in almost all parts of the globe, so it won’t be an issue unless you’re on a remote island. 

Most importantly, be present when you say you will be. When you miss getting a report from a staff with an urgent concern, the problem could snowball into something even more serious. 

6. Hope For The Best, And Plan For The Worst 

Consider the worst-case scenarios in your absence, like a data breach or leak. Make sure to get your team ready to manage such urgent cases without your help. 

Also, ensure that you are well equipped to handle emergencies. For example, check if there’s an internet connection or a business center in your vacation destination. Remember, being ready is a two-way street. 

The more worst-case scenarios you plan for, the better your business can stay resilient and flexible. 


Running an eCommerce business can be challenging and stressful in more ways than one. As an e-business owner, you deserve a little relaxation to recharge yourself, what with all the stress and burnout you have to feel every day. Remember that the fruits of all that hard work are meant to be enjoyed. 

Taking time off doesn’t have to be so tricky a decision to make. With proper planning and careful implementation, you won’t worry too much about losing sales, and you can be sure you can make the most out of your vacation. 

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