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  1. #1
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    CEOs on Vacation

    This is related to running a web hosting business. For those of you who have your own web hosting company, are you able to take one week off for a vacation or say two weeks to go and relax and grant sometime for yourself?

    If so, who watches over your business. If you have a partner I guess that's a different story. However, I was wondering how some people out there who have a business are able to just take a beak for themselves and leave work alone while your overseas say in greece, cyprus etc.

    Sorry, this may seem like a silly question, nevertheless, I just want to see the routes some of you take.

    Regards,

    Matthew

  2. #2
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    I can't take a break. Even if I have some partners, I not confident enought to go to Greece. At least, I never go where there is no reliable internet connection. This excludes Kenya Safaris, Mountain camping a so :-)
    .:. Enterprise SAN Consultant .:.

  3. #3
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    My friend, I wish I could take a 5 day vacation let a lone 1 week. The longest I've gone has been... 3 days, and came home to plenty of questions.
    Automated Tendencies - Brand Management Agency from Baltimore, Maryland.
    Reputation Management Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click Email Marketing

  4. #4
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    I can probably get away with taking a few days off as my business partner will pick up the administrative oversight. However, I really can't get myself to go anywhere where there is no cell phone reception or internet access for more than a day.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input everyone . It's good to know how some people handle these sort of things. But what good would it be to go to greece to work on business. That's why I was asking if you just leave everything behind and take your mind away from business and just give yourself a week or so for yourself. The reason I ask is, I haven't been outside of Ontario since I was a little kid, however, I plan to go to Greece this summer for 2-3 weeks but i'm not sure if this would be wise to leave everything for my partner to handle.

    Thanks again and I'd love to hear what others out there do.

    Regards,

    Matthew

  6. #6
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    Our CEO just took off to Hawaii for 2 weeks. we're going to throw a party. Business goes on. the rest of us can handle it.

    Aaron
    Aaron Wendel
    Wholesale Internet, Inc. - http://www.wholesaleinternet.net
    Kansas City Internet eXchange - http://www.kcix.net

  7. #7
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    If you have staff, organise them and ensure your company working is independent of you or any single person.

    I've taken vacations in the past and plan to take them in the future. I couldn't survive with the stress-levels otherwise.
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  8. #8
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    I dont see it much of a problem. I've taken 4 weeks off to visit family in other countries, I'm away at university like 2 months at a time. The business runs itself pretty well.

    However, i do have 24hr staff always online so clients can always keep in touch. If their is a problem, they can always ring me.

    I guess its how you bring your business up. If you concentrate on automation then it becomes easy.

    Don't get me wrong, we interact with clients a hell of a lot too, and do give it a personal touch.

    I'm going Paris and Greece later on this year as well
    InnoHosting, Performance Web Hosting || US: 1-888-522-INNO UK: 0800 612 8075
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Heh, if you want to see something interesting .. do this. Ask the question again, but change one thing -- say "without the cellphone"
    That should get you some interesting results.
    Automated Tendencies - Brand Management Agency from Baltimore, Maryland.
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  11. #11
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    It is difficult to "let go" when you run a small business. Hence why cellphone's, and mobile devices can be vacation companions for some.

    It also depends on your partner and/or staff. Can they handle things when you are gone? Do you trust them to handle things when you are gone? (note that is 2 different things).

    I am not sure if a real vacation is a luxury that a small business owner can afford.
    [[[[ ---CNM--- ]]]]

  12. #12
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    Ask the question again, but change one thing -- say "without the cellphone"
    HAHAHA

    I must thank everyone for contributing their information and the steps they take when wanting a little time for themselves.

    If you have staff, organise them and ensure your company working is independent of you or any single person.
    Currently it's just me and my partner, however, once things pickup I plan on hiring two other individuals who will handle all the sales, advertising and marketing.

    By the way InfexionKen on your site in the top menu where it says Hosting in the drop down menu where it says Hosting Plans it returns a 404 error:

    http://www.infexion.net/shared.php

    But the hosting link in the left menu operates fine. Once again, thanks for contributing

    Regards,

    Matthew

  13. #13
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    Can they handle things when you are gone? Do you trust them to handle things when you are gone?
    Good point here. The answer to both of these questions would be yes, however, that would put a lot of pressure on him since he would have to take care of my workload and the work he was doing previously.

  14. #14
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    I just contradicted myself

    Regards,

    Matthew

  15. #15
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    UniServe you need to take a break I think

    Really though, if you asked the question regarding "without a cellphone" I bet you 95% of the responses would change.

    "I am not sure if a real vacation is a luxury that a small business owner can afford."
    Couldn't agree more.
    Automated Tendencies - Brand Management Agency from Baltimore, Maryland.
    Reputation Management Search Engine Optimization Pay Per Click Email Marketing

  16. #16
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    As I post this from a laptop at a family function.. I'm going to have to go with "no" on this one.

  17. #17
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    When i went to Las Vegas.. I Planed to go for a week.. Only Stayed 3 days... Had to come back home to keep my business running.. thats what happens when you dont trust anyone to run it for you..

  18. #18
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    I'd imagine it is very hard for all you guys running your businesses by yourselves.

    My fiance would kill me if I couldn't go on vacation and not go near a computer for at least 7 days!

    Having said that, I do take cellphone calls...

  19. #19
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    I do take vacation, main issue is you need to train up your staff. Basically mine can handle with or without me. Hopefully they won't kick me out : )

  20. #20
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    >This is related to running a web hosting business. For those of
    >you who have your own web hosting company, are you able to
    >take one week off for a vacation or say two weeks to go and
    >relax and grant sometime for yourself?

    No, I don`t. Actually I've not left the house since winter 2004 But it is not a problem for me because my parents were poor and I only was on vacation two times in my whole life (school trips not counted). I'm used to living the hard way. And if my plan works out it will be all nice and sweet

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by boonchuan
    I do take vacation, main issue is you need to train up your staff. Basically mine can handle with or without me. Hopefully they won't kick me out : )
    Mutiny in the NOC!
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    Mutiny in the NOC!

    Sounds like something on the Lifetime channel.

  23. #23
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    Personally, I think that this is a big issue with the one-man shops. It becomes that you work for your business instead of your business working for you.

    I'm fortunate enough to have a business partner that I can rely on 100%. This allows both of us to take off up to 2 weeks a year off each (usually ~7 days at a time, though).

    Of course, we still communicate with each other on a daily basis (usually, for 30-60 minutes every morning while away).

    Furthermore, we also subcontract a lot of our work to others, so that makes the workload easier to handle when it's just one of us in the office.

    In my opinion, taking time off increases your productivity and improves your health in the long run.

    Those of you that have nobody to rely on for taking a vacation or in case of an emergency, should definitely address this issue before you burn out.

    Boris
    - AdWatcher - From the founders of HostVoice, comes the first ad management and tracking service created with web hosts in mind. Track Google AdWords, Overture, hosting directories, local advertising, etc. Compatible with ModernBill, WHM AutoPilot, ClientExec, PayPal, 2CO and others.
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  24. #24
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    I take vacations/breaks regularly, whether it is a weekend off, or a week away.

    I have people whom I trust with things, and a detailed policy on what to do when certain things happen.

    When you build your business with systems that a monkey can follow, and you have employees you can trust, you can work on your business, not in your business, and your business starts to work for you.

    The problem comes when you're paying your employees more than you're paying yourself!

  25. #25
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    A good business should have procedures in place that covers for situations like this. Even worse - what would happen if something happens to you?

    A startup can get away with no vacation for the business owner but once a business is established you should make arrangements to have coverage in place when you need it.

    Christoph
    Web Hosting Resource Kit - Web Hosting Reviews & Hosting Tutorials

  26. #26
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    I took regular vacations, but I was never too far away from the action. I'd take the laptop and get connected at whatever accomadation I was staying at. Sometimes I'd just tell the mrs that I need a few days down on the coast, alone, so I pack the laptop and jump in the car, and off I go. I'd then drive around the Coast looking for a new beachfront building to stay in. I love waking up to the sound of the waves crashing, and the view of the ocean is so soothing.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
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  27. #27
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    I take what people are saying but on the flip side after 18 months I needed a holiday. If you get to that point where you just need to take a break then you must just find it in yourself to trust someone and go recharge your own batteries

    Rus
    Russ Foster - Industry Curmudgeon

  28. #28
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    QLD, Australia
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    Re: CEOs on Vacation

    Originally posted by UniServe Hosting
    If so, who watches over your business. If you have a partner I guess that's a different story. However, I was wondering how some people out there who have a business are able to just take a beak for themselves and leave work alone while your overseas say in greece, cyprus etc.
    If the CEOs business has employees OR contracts services out to a support desk group they often contact those parties and request for them to take up the slack. Often this is accompanied by an increase in the amount they're paid while they're away.

    For instance, a 3 day weekend away for me cost $200 extra.

    But hey, that's the cost of business and the wine tasting sure was relaxing.

    Stuart
    Seekbrain.com - Personal Blog
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  29. #29
    I got a suprise valentine holiday to Paris for 2 weeks last February.

    Luckily I have a great business Partner, but like everybody else has said it is danm near impossible to let go!

    Although I have every faith in my business partner, and he could run the business perfectly while I was on a holiday its almost impossible to let go and if you take your phone impossible. I found that I was taking it just in case anything happened but then ended up checking my e-mails every four or five hours.

    Then we had to take regular stops to check the website, support desk and e-mails again . . . I must have spent about 20 euros in cyber cafes, I should just have taken a laptop!

    Suffice it to say you never really leave your business, you get so use to checking and running everything its really hard to just turn over your tasks to someone else for a few days. Especially if you put the time into it and take pride in it.

  30. #30
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    Hello Everyone,

    I have read through all the posts and took everything you have all said into consideration. To me, I believe this thread became rather interesting and useful as it's good to know what routes others take when they want a break. However, for sure I would not want to go to greece with my gf and fire up the laptop and start working. That would defeat the entire purpose of the vacation along with the alone time with the two of us.

    I can trust my partner to take care of everything, nevertheless, I suppose to hire some staff, train them well, create some monkey documents which specifies what to do step by step would also be a wise decision. I'll look into hiring two staff members with time as things progress. Thanks again for all the wonderful information and input along with some interesting stories .

    Regards,

    Matthew

  31. #31
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    I run my business myself day to day but when it comes to holiday time you need to be able to cut yourself off and relax. If I'm staying in the country I'll always make sure there's a computer nearby or take my laptop but that's usually as far as it goes.

    I went to Magaluff last summer for a week and left a good friend in charge of the billing and another in charge of technical support. Obviously I paid them for their time, and kept in touch by phone but I generally left them to it. Most billing enquiries could be postphoned until I returned, some of them I could direct answers over the phone.

    One of them has his own hosting business as well, so is quite capable of the technical questions.

    It's all about trust really. I'm lucky enough to have some talented friends and I trust them.

    This year I'm hoping to get an outsourced company in to take the bulk of the work load away, but that's only down to my business having grown considerably since last year and its getting to the point where I need to outsource some of the workload anyway!

    Key points:
    Don't just leave everything and hope for the best
    Find somone you trust
    Get them to text you if there's any problems but leave your phone in the hotel room whenever possible
    RELAX

    HTH

  32. #32
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    Aug 2002
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    Interesting post as I am currently away right now, here is what I do:

    I bring my cellphone and I bring my laptop and make sure I dont
    go somewhere where I cant atleast have cellphone reception.

    Our company is me, which basically does most 2nd level tech stuff and hardware things. One sales/marketing droid and a fulltime tech support guy. Works out quite nicely.

    I set aside about two hours each day to come online and do some work.
    Basically one has to accept the fact that in this business you cannot take too much time off. You can go places if you bring your phone and have a laptop ready and can be online with an hour or two warnings.
    But, once you accept that and plan around that it's not bad at all.

  33. #33
    Did I miss something? I would really not want to host my sites and my clients sites with a one-man shop. People need vacations. And a company needs employees to take care of the company

    I understand that businesses need to start somewhere but if they never really get started, I would think they are doomed from the very beginning.

    Yes my hosting company is small but the owners are able to take a week off
    John

  34. #34
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    Did I miss something? I would really not want to host my sites and my clients sites with a one-man shop.
    You didn't miss anything. The main purpose to this thread, was to get an insight on some CEO's of web hosting companies and how they go about taking their vacations.

    And a company needs employees to take care of the company
    No need to state the obvious. However, some employees may actually make things worse for a company. It's vital that the correct candidate is hired. Sorry, it's just that you come off rather egotistical in your post.

  35. #35
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    You should set yourself up so that breaks and holidays arent a problem - thats why your a CEO

    After a year or two your hosting business should be in a position to run itself, with staff in place to manage most situation. Your job is then to stear and improve the product.

    I managed to take a 3 month holiday recently and there were no problems while I was gone
    Matt Wallis
    United Communications Limited
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  36. #36
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    Holidays ?? I would be quite happy if I got the ticket queue under 100 tickets right now...

  37. #37
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    Hello UH-Matt,

    I totally agree with what you had to say. Where did you end up going for those three months? Also, I must admit, your site is pretty visually appealing.

    I've already hired a full-time web designer. The reason for this is, I want to offer web design with my hosting packages or even just web design alone. If there isn't much web design work to be done then he will be doing some tech support since he has a technical background.

    Luckily, I have a steady income and it's been like this for awhile **knock on wood** so I'm willing to dispense my money around for expansion when need be.


    I don't only want to have people working for my business so I may be away on vacation for 3, 4 or 5 months. What I want is to know that I am providing an income for ten, twenty or thirty familys and that i'm giving back to society.

    After a year or two your hosting business should be in a position to run itself, with staff in place to manage most situation. Your job is then to stear and improve the product.
    This is abosultely true. I suppose this is a rather personal question and you do not need to disclose such information, however, how many employes do you currently have?

    Thanks for your input.

  38. #38
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    We have 4 permenant staff and some extra freelance basis help.

    I actually backpacked around South America for 3 months, occasionally checking on things in rare internet cafe's
    Matt Wallis
    United Communications Limited
    High Performance Shared & Reseller | Managed VPS Cloud | Managed Dedicated
    UK www.unitedhosting.co.uk | US www.unitedhosting.com | Since 1998.

  39. #39
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    A 3 months holiday... That sounds excellent Matt!

    After a year or two your hosting business should be in a position to run itself, with staff in place to manage most situation. Your job is then to stear and improve the product.
    Working on your business instead of in your business. Very good advice Matt!

  40. #40
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    Our management team and the rest of our staff are more than capable of running the company when I am not around. In fact, they generally manage most of the day-to-day aspects of the business whether I am around or not.

    I think you also need to look at this from another angle. It is all well and good asking if the company will continue to function properly if you are away on holiday. However, what happens if you were to end up in hospital without any notice to your staff etc. Do you have procedures in place to handle that? Hopefully it will never happen, but when your livelihood depends on your business and you have hundreds if not thousands of other people depending on your service, then it is important to think about things like this.

    Being backed by an excellent team will be one of your strongest points in growing and managing your business. Remember, as the business grows you simply wont be able to micro-manage every support ticket that the company receives. Having scalable procedures and good staff in place to handle growth is key.

    Most importantly, when you are on holiday; enjoy yourself and get away from the company, so that when you come back to work, you feel regenerated and ready to get on with business.

    Good luck!

    - Chris
    Chris Adams - CEO - Rochen Ltd. - chris (at) rochen (dot) com

    Now offering both US & UK premium business hosting, reseller hosting and managed virtualized services.
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