Over the last couple of months, I've stumbled across some good posts about this very thing. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com explained, "As a solo entrepreneur, I realized that much of what was needed to run this business was locked up in my head—a dangerous thing if something happened to that head!" His advice about creating a "Blogging Will" applies to your business as well.
Another interesting post came from Sara Early and was posted on Handmadeology: Do You Have an Etsy Contingency Plan?
This reminded me of a forum thread I read not too long ago about a seller who had been seriously injured in a car accident and was hospitalized for months. Her husband of course did not even think about her shop, but all the while people were making purchases and leaving bad feedback because there was no response.Sara gives some guidelines that every Etsy shop owner should follow. I used to think my husband was just suffering from memory problems because he jotted all his login information down in a little notebook. Turns out that he had the right idea all along. I've started keeping track of this information and I realize that I need to put together a file with all the information someone would need to handle things in my absence.
If your absence is only temporary, you'll want your business to be okay when you return. Customers aren't going to know what's going on and will get angry when the items they purchase don't get shipped. The bad feedback and possible repercussions on Etsy and Paypal will be hard to undo. Don't let yourself be caught unprepared!