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Planning For Maternity Leave + Vacation

September 1, 2021

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I'm Court —online systems educator for coaches. I'm here to help you love your business again.

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We’ve all been there, maybe not pregnant, but we’ve all wanted to take a vacation or a few days off in our biz. And I’m not talking about a vacation where you’re secretly checking your Slack pings in the bathroom at dinner or sending your team to do’s over breakfast. I’m talking about a fully biz unplugged vacay where you’re lounging on the beach sipping a spicy marg.

So how do we prepare our biz so we can step away without checking our laptops every couple of hours? I’m giving you the low down on how to prep things now so you don’t have to scramble to put things together later. 

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So how did I feel confident to step away from my biz?

Here’s the thing, in order to have a smooth-running business, you need to know when to delegate and trust the team that you’ve trained to handle things so you can take a step back. 

The big reason I have been able to really feel confident in taking maternity leave is because of the time I have taken to implement systems in my business over the years. 

Even though I have a kick-ass team, without those systems in place, it wouldn’t be possible for me to feel good about stepping away. 

Here’s the truth, it’s never too early to start systemizing your biz so that you are able to prep and plan for your future. 

Okay, so how do I start prepping my biz so I can take time off?

The game-changer piece for me was to create “A CEO schedule” through delegation and systemizing my biz.

Over the past year and a half, I have worked at stepping into this role in my biz which has looked like:

  • Handing over more and more responsibility to people on my team. 
  • Focusing my time on big picture tasks that brought ROI into my business 

So honestly, I’ve struggled with delegation, because sometimes it’s easier to just say, “Okay, I’m going to just get it done myself”.

The problem with that is although it might be easier in the short term, in the long term, it’s not a scalable solution. 

If you build your business around you just doing everything, it’s going to make it impossible for you to step away. So by delegating to your team members now, you’re able to prep for the future. 

That way, when the time comes for you to take a vacation or have a baby or take a medical leave,  there are very few tasks that you need to train your team on.

Delegation isn’t something that I just started the day I found out I was pregnant. It has been a long journey which is all the more reason for you all to start evaluating the tasks in your business now, so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute to pull everything together.

So what can I do to start systemizing my biz?

  • Create SOP’s for every process you and your team uses 
  • Start integrating your platforms and take advantage of automation opportunities. 
  • Have systems in place for your client onboarding + management
  • Create processes for your team communication + client communication
  • Implement a system for tracking your leads (keep bringing on those leads even when you’re out of office!)

How do I create a plan when I know I will be taking time off?

1. Have a general idea of the timeframe you are going to be out of office. 

As soon as my team knew I was pregnant, we really started to go about having a plan. And about three months before I went on maternity leave, I let them know the tentative dates that I would be taking off. 

Since this is my first time being pregnant I gave them a tentative range so I can gauge how I feel to ease back into my business. So I kind of had a plan to not have a plan if that makes sense. 

2. Set a game plan for communication expectations

I made it clear to my team that I was going to take at least 6 weeks completely offline. This way, they had a game plan of when they could at least expect me to be available to them again. 

3. Check in with your team for trainings they might need

I made sure to sit down with my team and ask them what questions they had. I also recorded trainings for parts of my business that only I know how to do. 

Hot Tip: Create a ClickUp board where your team can drop tasks for trainings they will need (Check out ClickUp here and use code ‘ElevateEffect’ to get 30% off the Unlimited Plan or 15% off the Business Plan!)

4. Prep for any launches before you are out of office

For my team, we had two main launches, the relaunch of our course and the podcast launch. Even though these launches happened before I started my maternity leave, I had to make sure that everything was prepped for those launches to go smoothly, so nothing fell behind. And then I had to make sure that my team was prepped to handle the post-launch process.

5. Plan out key marketing content

I made sure that my team was really clear on our marketing plan for the rest of the year, and that they were clear on their responsibilities for that marketing plan. 

6. Have your team plan out their main responsibilities for the time you are out

Because of where my due date fell in the year, we had our 3rd quarter meeting about two months before I went on maternity leave. This gave me the perfect opportunity to go over our priorities for q3 and q4 with my team. 

I wanted to make sure where to focus their time while I was out of office outside of the recurring tasks that they would be doing in my business. 

Where can I start implementing these systems in my biz now? 

Evaluate all the tasks in your business.

Are there any tasks that you could easily pass to a team member? Start with these tasks and create super detailed SOPs for each task.

Are there any tasks that you could automate?

Are there any tasks you are currently doing in your business that really aren’t doing anything to push you forward? If you find that you’re just doing a task simply for the reason that you’ve always done it, it might be time to step away and put that time elsewhere.

Where do I start when I want to take time off?

  1. Communicate to your clients as early as possible that you will be taking time off.
  2. Start introducing your team to any clients they don’t already know.
  3. Create “guardrails” for your team for decision making
  4. Set up a plan for team communication with you

Prepping for time off can seem super daunting, but with delegation, systemization, and team communication it honestly isn’t that scary anymore. Because of the time I have taken to build systems in my biz, I feel comfortable and confident to step away for my maternity leave. It’s important to start implementing these systems in your business now so when the time comes, you can feel less overwhelmed and afraid of handing it off to your team. 

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