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How to Access Your Business Intelligence: Even When Employees Go On Vacation

It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? What will happen to your business if you go on vacation?

Many business owners and managers worry about leaving their team for a few days, or (gasp) a few weeks because they are worried about being out of touch. But what happens when the reverse is true? What happens when your employees go on vacation? You don’t want to (and often times can’t) bother them, so how do you tap into the business intelligence they have to keep your company running smoothly?

How to Access Your Business Intelligence: Even When Employees Go On Vacation

You tap into the cloud

The cloud lets you and your employees store data virtually. This means it’s accessible anywhere, anytime – even when a team member is not able to respond to your requests.

Why does this matter?

Your business doesn’t hit the pause button just because someone is out of the office. It continues to move. Without having access to all of the information you need to run a smooth operation, you’re stuck. Employees get frustrated and as a result, customer service wanes.

To keep your business running as seamlessly as possible, and to alleviate your worries about an employee taking leave, here are a few of the types of apps you need to keep a consistent pulse on what’s happening in your business.

Social Media

Do you have one or two employees in charge of your social media accounts? Often, when an employee is planning to go on vacation, they’ll schedule posts far in advance so everything runs smoothly while they’re gone.

Although on the surface this might seem like a good plan, it can quickly become problematic – especially if something in your business or in the world changes.

Many companies have experienced the pain of not properly managing scheduled social media posts. A classic example is the social media post that was scheduled ahead of a Radiohead concert. The post was innocent enough, encouraging people to buy tickets and post pictures from the show. But only hours before the gates had been scheduled to open, the tent collapsed killing one person and injuring three others.

Because the posts hadn’t been noticed, they hadn’t been deleted. After such a tragedy, the fairgrounds was still tweeting out about the show as if it were going on.

When your employees leave on vacation, be sure you have full access to the social media posts that are scheduled so you can stop any automated posts in the event of an emergency.

Scheduling

Do you have the latest copy of your schedule? What happens when an employee needs a day off?

Managing your schedule on a print out can be confusing and burdensome. Requests can only be made when a team member is in the office. If an employee needs to switch shifts, you can only grant that request when both employees are present. With one person on vacation, you might have a hard time making what should be a simple schedule change.

By using a scheduling app, you can see who is available to take a certain shift and make quick changes. It keeps you agile and keeps your employees happier, knowing you’re flexible.

Project Management

Are you knee deep in a store makeover? Have you recently decided to remodel your storefront? If so, there are a lot of moving parts and every single one of them has to be tracked, even when the managing employee is out of the office.

Having project management software makes it easy to keep a pulse on the status of your big projects. There’s no worry about the employee forgetting to update you on something before heading to the beach or hitting the slopes. It’s also beneficial for the times when an employee might need time off unexpectedly. Everything is consistently kept up-to-date so you’re always in the loop.

There are plenty of free project management tools out there. Use them, even for the simplest of projects, and you’ll always have a steady pulse on what’s happening.

Customer Service

When customer service breaks down, everyone suffers. Your employees who are still at work get overwhelmed. Customers awaiting a response get frustrated. Ultimately, your business’s reputation is damaged.

Having a customer service tool to track conversations between employees and customers can help you know what’s lingering and what’s been discussed in the past. This will help you tie up any loose ends and keep the customer relationships intact.

Having customer service software will also help if a previously disgruntled customer reaches out with another request. You can see what’s been discussed and how it was resolved in the past, getting insight into what the customer wants and needs.

Accounting

There’s a lot happening in your business every day. Sales are made, returns are performed, expenses are paid, and the list goes on. Tracking every detail is vital to your business.

When an employee goes on vacation, you need to know what they’ve done so you can keep your books accurate and up-to-date.

By using an app to track every movement of money, you’re better equipped to make financial decisions for your firm. You don’t need to wait for an employee to get back to fill out an expense report or turn in his receipts. Everything is done automatically so you always have an accurate glimpse of what’s happening in your business.

Keep Your Business Intelligence Centered in the Cloud

Using apps to track what’s happening in your company is an easy way to ensure nothing gets lost in the shuffle or forgotten when an employee leaves the office. What apps do you use religiously to maintain control over your business intelligence?

Image: Vacation and travel, a huge pile of things for the holiday


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Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine's Top 500 Software Companies 2004-2007 and again in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016. http://www.schedulebase.com

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