When holiday-let owners go on holiday with Vicky Saynor

When holiday-let owners go on holiday with Vicky Saynor

Bethnal & BEc

One of the main reasons we decided to open a business was the freedom (we thought) it would bring!

No longer asking a boss for time off and negotiating dates – we realised this year we’ve just replaced that with working it around our business!!

We are not a seasonal business and as a result, we are welcoming guests 365 days a year.

This obviously makes for tricky holiday planning.

With 4 children, my cancer diagnosis and then Covid behind us – we decided that this Easter holiday was time to take our Florida holiday that we’d been dreaming of for years…

Then we saw that we were 100% booked through April – and wondered how we would manage this!

We use a cleaning company for some regular cleans, and Chris and I cover others. With all the added extras we offer – we can sometimes feel we’ve created a bit of a monster! – it’s not just a simple ‘turnover’.

We started planning our two week break back in January, and were also determined to have that – a break.

Working and living in the same space, and also with your other half, can take its toll, so we needed a clean break from the business.

This is how we tackled getting a holiday for ourselves, whilst continuing to run our business at full capacity:

  1. In January we started to spend more time with our cleaners going over all the extra bits we do on our cleans, and training on dine-in boxes, honesty larder and staples larder
  2. We started to document everything and create useful notes and lists (which forced us to do this very worthwhile and important task)
  3. Contacted guests a month before to check if there would be any further requests to add to their bookings, so we could manage and organise these before we went
  4. We work with a Virtual Assistant for much of our business admin anyway (a previous guest, so she also understands our business). Our VA is a very cost effective way to really keep on top of customer interactions, suppliers and admin. We organised to hand over all admin and communication to our VA whilst away
  5. We lined up our regular and trustworthy handyman to be ‘on call’ in case of emergencies, breakdowns and anything else
  6. We lined up local friends that we could call on in case anything else happened that we couldn’t think of

In short – the few weeks immediately prior to our trip left us wondering if it was worth it!

Leaving your business in the hands of others isn’t the easiest choice. Many of our fellow SC business owner friends told us they would just shut down – but we couldn’t afford to.

Of course things happened that don’t when we’re at home!! Dishwashers broke down, unexplained water pressure loss, electrics playing up – but thankfully with the support we’d put in place, all was managed and guests were looked after well.

Most importantly, we had the break we needed from the business in order to return fully recharged and ready to focus on our new build in Felixstowe Ferry… and reminded of how our guests (hopefully) feel after a break with us!

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