Create your Vacation Checklist so that you can relax with no worries while away

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by Tom Watson on July 10, 2016

I had a lot of fun working in and growing my cleaning business over the years, but I had a lot more fun when I got away from it all and went on vacation.

In fact I used to try to go on vacation several times per year. A week in Aruba was pretty much a guarantee early in the year, and another week in Florida was a lock near the end. I would also try to fit several “mini vacations” in wherever I could.

These were usually just long weekends that I was able to squeeze in every now and again. Generally I just headed to the beach so that I felt far enough away to enjoy myself but not “too far” in case an emergency popped up.

The problem however with vacations is the fact that preparing to go away can be so much trouble. When you own a business there are so many odds and ends that need to be tied up that it can make your head spin.

So I came up with the idea to create a “checklist” to make sure I didn’t forget anything. This way I wouldn’t have to struggle to remember all the little details each time I went away. I molded it over the years to fit my unique situation. The actual checklist I used was below…

Vacation Checklist Part 1

Vacation Checklist Part 2

As you can see, it was two pages long and I pretty much tried to create a “system” for me so that I wouldn’t forget some detail that made my business go off the rails when I was away. Feel free to use my template for yourself.

Keep in mind no two businesses are identical. So how I ran mine will probably differ from how you run yours. This means you’ll have to modify this to suit your needs. But hopefully it will give you a little bit of insight into how to make one that works for your business.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Binda Kebohula July 11, 2016 at 7:28 am

Hi Tom, this is good stuff for thought and really helpful to a self-employed person so that things do not fall apart. This is serious planning.

2 Tom Watson July 11, 2016 at 10:06 am


3 BJ July 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

Thanks Tom. I plan to keep alarm codes in a Excel file. Is this the right way to do it and hand off to my replacement? Cheers, Brody

4 Tom Watson July 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

Hi BJ! I don’t see why not. I mean, there is no right or wrong way to go about it… it’s whatever WORKS FOR YOU. THANKS for commenting.

5 BJ July 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Thanks Tom. What system do you have to keep losing your keys before passing it off? Where should I store the keys and should I be making copies of it before passing it off?

6 Tom Watson July 14, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Hi BJ!

I numbered them (001,002,003 etc…) as soon I got a set of keys (I always asked for at least two sets, and would ask for permission to copy if need be). I kept them in a key box (find them on Amazon) and was careful to only give them to reliable people (hire carefully). That’s it really.

7 MariaG August 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Hi Tom!
First of all, thank you for all the great information you provide us!
I’m in the process of starting my own residential/commercial cleaning business and am researching to buy bond and liability insurance. Any recommendations?

8 Tom Watson August 9, 2016 at 10:16 am

Hi Maria! I would price around on the insurance, then go with the person who you felt most comfortable with (you may be asking them questions from time to time down the road, so you ant to get along well with them). I would also join some networking groups (and go regularly for six months then evaluate that particular group).

I would avoid bidding large accounts, as you need to get your feet week on the smaller stuff and work your way up. Consider doctor offices as one market to zero in on (they are smaller AND need service multiple times per week). Only spend money on things that MAKE YOU MONEY (like marketing flyers, direct mail etc…). THEN REINVEST and market some more.

9 MariaG August 11, 2016 at 1:43 am

Thank you so much Tom for your prompt response and such valuable input!

I am very much interested in purchasing your “beginners commercial cleaning” package deal…I am confident that it will assist me in implementing my business.

10 Tom Watson August 13, 2016 at 11:17 am

I’m happy to help Maria!

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