7 questions to ask before you pack your bags and head off on that long overdue holiday
As a small business owner, holidays are few and far between. And it seems even when you do manage to get away, a lot of the time staff still call, text or message you, which kind of defeats your intention of down time and switching off.
Instead, holidays should be the time when you can put your team to the test. Letting them show you how well they do their job when you’re not around. And once you know they are capable of running the business without you, you can start booking regular holidays and getaways, knowing you won’t be on call to deal with the day to day.
So, before you start to pack your bags, ask yourself these seven questions to ensure you actually get the holiday you deserve:
1. Does your team know what sales you want to achieve daily?
Be sure your roster has been prepared with a clearly stated daily sales target. This target should be based on past sales history, marketing activities happening in your business and your current sales growth strategy.
2. Does your team know what labour percentage they have to meet?
Have your roster prepared with your preferred labour percentage clearly stated. Be sure you have trained your leadership team in how to monitor this target during the day as they trade so they feel confident to send staff home when they need to or when to keep them on shift if it is busy.
3. Does your team know the average transaction value (ATV) they are aiming for?
A target is easier to hit when you can see it. Be sure that each team member knows what ATV you are aiming for. It is no surprise that when you set an ATV it is the figure that your team aims for each and every sale and will quite often smash it.
4. Does your team have their standard upsell for the holidays?
Give your team the tools they need to hit the ATV. Decide now on a standard $1, $2 and $3 (or relevant dollar amount in your business) upsell. If your team have a suggested upsell in their head it is easier to use it when they are completing the steps of service.
5. Does your team know who is leading each shift and who will report back to you the owner?
This may seem silly and may be stating the obvious but if you have not defined your leadership team then there is no one leading the charge to meet the targets you have set. Have key people accountable for meeting your targets. This way you have effectively delegated your leadership. You can enjoy your holiday knowing someone like you, who knows your targets aims and objectives, is running the store. Your mini me.
6. Do you have a preferred communication method to use with your leadership team?
By clarifying the preferred time each day that your team can contact you, whether by text, phone or email, you are setting the guidelines. Now the team will make a list of things to speak with you about, it will be organised and ordered and you will have the time off you deserve. No constant phone ringing interrupting your holiday activities.
7. Create a process to check your key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you know your business is on track
Take control of your business and stop worrying whether things are going okay whilst you are away. Set up a process to check that the KPI’s have met target on a daily basis. It may be the manager who checks them or you if it helps you to relax whilst away, either way, create the process before you go.
Now that you have asked these questions and more importantly answered them. Pack those bags and go away on that holiday. Relax. Don’t be checking your mobile phone or emails all the time. You have put the systems in place, trust them. Allow them to be tested so that you can refine and improve them. But more importantly, trust your team to do what they are supposed to do whilst you are away. Be true to your word and only contact them at the designated time. Let the team prove to you that they can run the store while you are away. You might be pleasantly surprised at how well your systems work.
And you know what the benefits of that are? Yes, more holidays. There is your incentive for this to work and work well.
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About the contributor:
Elizabeth Gilliam is the founder and CEO of Franchisee Success, a company that specialises in creating High Performance Franchisees through education and mentoring. Having owned and operated three franchised food businesses; Elizabeth advises franchisees on how to operate a profitable franchise business which begins by choosing the right franchise opportunity.