Being Licensee & holidays…Is it really possible?
Being a Licensee or Officer in Effective Control and taking a long-awaited holiday may seem like two terms that just don’t go together. If you are a Licensees who hasn’t seen the inside of your travel luggage for a good 5, 10 or perhaps even 15 years, then you are not alone. But it is time to change.
Being Licensee brings with it ownership, and with that comes the sense of not being able to ‘let go’. Like a first-time mother leaving their newborn baby to a babysitter, sometimes you have to learn how to cut those ties and let others take the reins for just a little while. If you don’t, the concept of ‘holidays’ will be a distant memory, along with your suntan.
It is possible. Here’s how:
As much as it may sometimes drive us mad, technology is our saving grace. With the introduction of cloud-based trust accounting systems, it has never been easier to stay in touch with your business if the need arises. With so many communication systems also at our back and call, staying in touch with your staff is as easy as choosing the right cocktail from the menu.
So before you start googling hotels and packing your bags, we’ve outlined some steps to preparing your office for your impending trip and how to ensure your holiday is worth your while and the office is in tact upon your return.
- Write to your Governing Authority
Before you depart, notify your equivalent of Fair Trading with a letter advising them of your absence from the business and the duration of your absence. This letter should also outline the steps you have put in place in your absence and the person/s responsible for agency supervision. Keep a copy of the letter in the office whilst you are away if required by your staff.
- Outline delegation of tasks
The delegation of jobs to the correct and qualified personnel should be clearly outlined and signed by both parties prior to your departure. Those delegated to particular roles must be duly qualified and experienced to hold the responsibility during your absence. There are many day-to-day jobs and duties you may not have thought of including:
- Management of trust account
- Daily banking
- Complaints and compliance
This delegation should be clearly defined in writing between the parties and should be acknowledged by signatures of the Licensee and parties involved and copies should be held on file.
- Prepare for an audit
As Murphy’s Law states, if there is ever a time you will be audited, it will be when you are away. Rest assured, if it does, performing the first two tasks will safeguard you against any breaches. Ensure all staff are aware of the documentation you have prepared and filed in the office if required. As a double safeguard and piece of mind, read our list of 10 Steps for Surviving a Fair Trading Audit.
- Implement the right technology
With so many ways to communicate, there will undoubtedly be at least one form of communication available to you whilst on holidays. Along with your email, there are a host of online systems to ensure you can stay in touch if the need arises.
Implementing these systems prior to your departure and ensuring your team all have access to the same platform will ensure no communication glitches arise. Implement the systems and conduct some trial tests from home before you go. This will ensure it all runs smoothly and everyone can connect successfully. As long as you have access to reliable internet, you are never far from the office. Most platforms are free and easily accessible for multiple parties.
- For video or voice only conferencing: Skype or Facetime*
Benefits: Allow you to hold face-to-face meetings with staff
- For screen sharing: Teamviewer or join.me*
Benefits: Both are popular screen sharing tools that allow you to log into your computer from anywhere in the world. You can view your entire system using these tools. For those not utilising cloud-based software, this is a great way to access your locally-saved files.
- For file sharing: Dropbox or google drive*
Benefits: These options are great for those files too big to email. You can access, upload, edit and save documents anywhere in the world, no matter how large the files.
- Have a risk management plan
Expecting and preparing for the worst can help you to prepare an adequate risk management plan. Once again, communication is key here. Meet with your staff to check if they are confident with the risk management plan in place.
If you have never implemented a risk management plan there are many templates available to help you. A good risk management plan helps you identify all the possible risks while you are away. Your can rate each risk on their likelihood of occurrence and impact to the business. You will then identify the appropriate action for each risk; Avoid, Reduce, Transfer, Finance or Retain and delegate the responsible person/s for action.
If in doubt, End of Month Angels can help hold the fort for your business whilst you are away. Your holiday happiness depends upon is your confidence in your staff to hold the fort in your absence.
So plan well… and in return, holiday well.