QUESTION: I am going to take 2 to 3 months off during the summer and travel extensively.  How can I keep the business running and sustain the relationships with key clients?  What is your best advice?  – Lisa, San Francisco

ANSWER: This is one of the main reasons you want to build a recruiting firm.  Even a small one with a couple of associates.  I have a client in my Peak Performer Group that goes to Spain for a month.  I know she has a really good assistant, and she has a recruiting associate that recruits on her stuff and she introduces her to her client so that her interaction with the client while she away is minimal, but she builds up some openings for some people to work on.

In the absence of having this set up in your office, and I do not know if you do have, Lisa, because you do not mention if you do have anyone working for you.  If you are going to take off 3 months your business is not going to run as smoothly as when you are there, if you are going to truly be vacationing, or just being in another city for three months.  My question to you is even if you had really good clients who loved you, who called you every two weeks, you know if you have a portfolio with a handful of clients that called you and one of them would call every two weeks with an exclusive opening, how are you going to get candidates on those if you are traveling extensively?

So my advice to you would be if that is really a goal of yours, and I love that it is, then you need leverage in the form of that search associate role where you have somebody just recruiting on your openings.  There are ways to do that virtually now with the technology we have, and there are also ways to do that on a part-time basis as long as you put the right accountability system in place.