Are you taking some time off to celebrate and unwind this holiday season? Good! Everyone needs a break, especially when you juggle the myriad tasks of being an entrepreneur. So, the lights are strung, the Christmas tree is decorated, the smell of plum pudding fills the air…but, wait, is there something you’re forgetting? Ah, yes, your website. It may not sound very merry, but properly managing your website while you’re away on holiday is of utmost importance as a small business owner. There are no little elves that will do it for you, but modern content management tools make it simple. We’ll go over how to make sure everything is up-to-date before you go.
Audit your content
Before you unplug, it’s important to ensure your website is totally up-to-date (in more than one way). First, consider your content. Since you probably won’t be changing it for a bit, feature the most current information that you’d like visitors to see. Also bear in mind when you will be back. For example, if you’re not returning until January 15, a big “Merry Christmas” homepage will seem out-of-date in a hurry. If you’ll be absent for a long period of time, keep your content more general or evergreen. Take care to keep your customers informed about your absence as needed. For example, if online orders won’t go out until a particular date, be as upfront and communicative as possible about this on your website.
CMS – Christmas Management System
The process of updating your content will vary depending on what Content Management System (CMS) you use. GoDaddy Website Builder makes it a breeze to update your content – even from your phone. Edit, add or remove content sections to ensure your website is in tip-top shape. In addition to making sure your content is current, also apply any new updates to your CMS that have come out. This will prevent bugs and potential usability and security issues from arising while you’re gone. If you use Managed WordPress from GoDaddy, backups and software updates happen automatically. And, with any GoDaddy product, you get the added assurance of our award-winning customer care – 24/7/365.
Sometimes as a small business owner, there’s no such thing as time off. Luckily, there are tools that can help you manage your business even when you’re away from your desk. Office 365 from GoDaddy provides online versions of the Microsoft Office suite, secure cloud-based file storage, data security and 24/7 support. No matter where you are, you’ll have the programs and files you need to be productive.
If you’re leaving things in the hands of employees while you spend time away, provide thorough instructions – not just for normal day-to-day operations, but also for any problems that might arise. If your CMS allows delegation, be sure you’ve given access to those who need it.
You may worry about coming across as overbearing or like you’re micro-managing, but giving them the tools they need to do a stellar job is beneficial for everyone.
Of course, you can’t anticipate every possible scenario or need that might arise, so it’s essential to be reachable. Have your phone on you, check emails periodically, and make sure your workers know the best way to get in touch. Don’t forget the holiday spirit – either before or after your time away, reward your hardworking employees with a treat of some kind, whether it’s a gift, cash bonus or holiday party. If your workers feel appreciated, they are more likely to feel a sense of devotion to your business.
Please leave a message
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget – be sure to turn on an automatic email reply to let visitors know you are currently away and when you will return. Same goes for phone calls. If you won’t be taking business calls, your voicemail message should communicate your absence clearly and set expectations for when you will return the call. If your business involves appointments, double-check that the calendar on your website reflects your time away. These simple steps show a level of professionalism and let customers know you value them. It also gives you peace of mind, so you can truly enjoy some rest and relaxation.
A great way to keep your customers engaged while you’re away is to plan and schedule social media content to post automatically. You may be speeding down a mountainside on a toboggan, but if your customers are seeing fresh content, it’ll seem like you’re around.
The holidays are a busy time, so if you don’t get to it, at least publish a post on each of your platforms announcing that things might be a little quiet for a while. You can even tease something coming up to keep them curious – a big change in the new year, new products, an upcoming event, etc.
Enjoy your holiday
Visit godaddy.ca to find all the tools you need to create or update your website. And, when the time comes to take off, don’t stress too much. The holidays are a busy time for everyone. There’s a good chance that most of your customers, like you, are spending less time online and more time celebrating with family. Bottom line – if you openly communicate with your customers about your absence, set expectations for your return, and do your best to spread some holiday cheer to the fine folks of Canada, you’ve done your job. Now go enjoy some plum pudding – you’ve earned it.