Preparing your shop for vacation

 

 
 
***Hey friends! Since I’m away from the shop this week and getting some rest, I thought this post about how to put your shop on vacation might be helpful to you. I thought I’d share a bit about how I get ready to take a step back from my shop as well as some other options for how you can make sure you get that well-deserved break.  Sound good???
 
 

suitcase collage
 

{suitcase photo}

 

 

 

In my mind there are basically 2 main options:
 
 1) you can completely shut your shop down or 2) you can run it while on vacation.

 

 

 

Pros for shutting down:

 

–you don’t have to think about orders

 

–you don’t have to answer any questions

 

–you don’t have any supplies to have to lug with you

 

I think this plan is especially ideal if you have to work in a studio or have really bulky equipment to carry around.

 

 

 

Cons to shutting your shop down:

 

–you don’t make any money

 

–you have to prepare ahead of time to be completely caught up on your orders before you leave your shop

 

–people can see that your shop is on vacation and choose to order from someone else, potentially losing their business in the future as well.

 
 

 

Pros to running your shop while on vacation:

 

–you can still make money

 

–you don’t lose contact with customers…really important if you are vacationing in a typically busy season for your shop

 

–you are able to still bring in new costumers by being available and “findable”

 

This is ideal for the shop owner that doesn’t want to risk losing business while on vacation

 

 

 

Cons to running your shop while on vacation:

 

–you’re essentially working on your break

 

–you may have to travel with your supplies

 

–you will have to check in and check on your shop from time to time

 

–you may have to create new orders and ship them while on vacation

 
 

 

 

So, which one is right for you?  I think that depends on what you want for your vacation and shop as well as whether you typically make items after they are ordered or before they are ordered.

 

 

>>Is it most important that you don’t have to work at all for the duration of your break?  Or is it most important that you still be able to make money and interact with customers while you’re away?<<

 

 

{here’s a great post on whether your shop should be made-to-order or ready-to-ship}

 

 

 
Either priority is a perfectly fine one…you just need to decide what works best for you each time.  For example:  if you are planning to take a cruise or a trip that requires flying, taking your shop with you is probably not a great option.  However, if you’re planning to go to the family beach house a few hours away, you might want to keep your shop open.

 

taking time to live

{source}

 
 
 

Ready to ship shops who want to shut down for vacation:

 

If you have everything already made and ready to ship, it’s fairly simple.

 

  • set a deadline ahead of time to let your customers know the the last day you will take orders {make sure you have plenty of time!}

     

  • list the quantity you have on hand

     

  • ship them out before you leave

     

  • if you have an etsy shop, put it on vacation {click “your shop: _____” –> “options” –> “vacation mode”}

     

  • enjoy your break!

     
     
     

Made to order shops who want to shut down for vacation:

 

  • set a deadline ahead of time to let your customers know the last day you will take orders {make sure you have plenty of time!}

     

  • get to work making and shipping out the orders before you leave

     

  • if you have an etsy shop, put it on vacation

     

  • enjoy your break!

 
 
 

Now if you want to keep working over your vacation {and continue earning}, here’s how it might look….

 

Ready-to-ship shops who want to keep their shop open during vacation:

 

  • decide ahead of time what items from your shop you want to stock up on and have available to sell {you will take them with you on your trip unless you have someone working for you}
  •  

  • edit your shop down to show exactly which items you have in stock and how many
  •  

  • pack up your inventory {I would recommend having it already packaged for shipping}
  •  

  • enjoy your vacation and check in regularly to see if you have inventory that was bought and needs to be shipped or questions from customers to answer {you need to make sure there will be a post office near where you’re staying.}

 
 
 

Made-to-order shops who want to keep their shop open during vacation:

 

  • decide if you want to keep all of your items available for order during your vacation
  •  

  • consider simply writing a shop annoucement explaining that you will be away from your shop {give specific dates} and all orders will be processed after that date, but you will stay available to answer questions and set up custom listings
  •  

  • edit your shop to only have the items you are prepared to make on vacation
  •  

  • pack all needed materials to create items and ship them
  •  

  • enjoy your vacation and plan for time to answer questions, set up listings, fill orders and ship, if applicable
  •  
     

vacation plans

{etsy shop}

 
 
 
We like to go to the family beach house several times a summer if possible, and I have never put my shop on vacation.  Not that it’s bad in any way.  I just really like the idea of keeping my business growing while I’m taking a break.  :)

 
 
I have done it a couple of different ways.  Since I’m a mainly made-t0-order shop I will put up an announcement that I’m away but am still taking orders and answering questions.  I let them know what day I will resume processing orders.  OR.   I pack up my shop and just take it with me.  
 
 
 

Again, the beauty of owning your own business is getting to be the boss and do pretty much what want.  Just remember that customer service is top priority so please do your customers right by giving them the right expectations.  Don’t bail on them after they’ve ordered.  Make sure you complete and ship that order when you say you will.

 
 
 
Ok!  So to wrap up, ask these questions:
 
 

1) Do I want a break from my shop?

 
 

   Yes?   Then prepare ahead of time to put your shop on vacation and enjoy a lovely break.

 
 

  No?   On to question 2…

 
 
 

2) What do I need to do to be prepared to take my shop with me?

 

 Decide if you will…

 

  • announce that orders will be delayed until you get back,
  •  

  • edit your shop down to just the items you want to sell while you’re gone,
  •  

  • bring ready made items with you and/or
  •  

  • pack up your shop and complete/ship orders as they come in while you’re away.
  •  

  •  Plan accordingly.
  •  
     
     

YOU are the boss!  And trial and error is a beautiful part of learning how best to manage your business.

 
 
 

Let me know if you have other tips and questions and happy vacationing!  You deserve it!

 

 

 

 

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One Response to Preparing your shop for vacation

  1. hahollander says:

    I put my shop in vacation mode while my family was traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. One thing that I didn’t realize is that when you do this any items that you have someone’s registry or treasury no longer show up.I had a lady who put one my bookends on her registry and communicated with me and told that they were no longer there due to vacation mode. It makes sense that they wouldn’t be, but I didn’t like that at all! For me, I don’t think I will go in that mode again and just try to clearly communicate in the shop announcements and possibly on each item in my shop that I am away on vacation and will process orders when I get home. I think it’s great to give an exact so customers can know and plan. That’s good customer service right there! But, like you said, there are pros and cons to both!

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