With the summer season starting in a few weeks, many financial advisers are planning a little rest and relaxation away from their businesses. By following some simple rules before, during and after your holiday you can take a stress-free break from your business and bring balance back to your personal and professional lives.
Before Your Vacation …
Get your business in order. First, finish all time-sensitive paperwork. The last thing you want is to arrive back at the office only to realize you didn’t fill out an account transfer form before you left. Second, keep your staff and clients informed of your getaway plans well ahead of time so that no one is surprised when you do not return a call. One example is to have an “Oh, by the way …” statement sitting right next to your phone at least two weeks before you leave. End all client calls during that time with a statement such as, “Oh by the way, I will be out of the office on vacation from the first to the seventh next month, but my assistant can answer any paperwork questions, and if you have investment questions regarding your account, please ask my assistant to put you through to my colleague, ____.” Then find a peer in the office who is licensed and willing to handle your clients’ investment concerns during your absence. I highly recommend that you reciprocate.
During Your Vacation …
It is important to leave your business at the office. That means do not take work with you, do not call the office and turn off access to work e-mail on your phone. You owe it to yourself to have some time to step away from your business. If you have done your pre-vacation prep, everything should be covered and ultimately your assistant will know how to find you in case of an emergency and chances are slim you will get that type of call.
After Your Vacation …
Give yourself a day to come home, unpack and unwind. Do not attempt to sort through 500 e-mails on a Sunday night. Instead, come in fresh on Monday morning with time blocked out to regroup and get organized. The first order of business is to thank those who minded the store. Second, you may want to keep your phone on “do not disturb” for the first two or three hours so you can prioritize e-mails and voicemails; this way you’re being proactive instead of reactive. Then start contacting those clients who are first on the list. Most importantly, remember to ease back into the flow of your business rather than rushing in trying to accomplish a week of work in one day. The purpose of the vacation from your vocation is to rebalance yourself and you don’t want to tip the scales unfavorably the first day back.
For a resource that further outlines a before-, during- and after-vacation checklist, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my white paper The Advisor Solutions’ Vacation Checklist.
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.