Every minute you devote to your business is precious. So, too, is time that you can devote to yourself. Go ahead and say it with me: “I’m going on vacation and I’m going to enjoy myself when I do. And my business will survive while I’m away.”
Good, nice job! Now that you’ve said it, here’s the clincher: You need to believe it, too. In this article, we’ll give you tips on how to take a vacation so you can relax and re-energize away from your business without worry.
The math may seem simple: The more you work, the more you accomplish. But the science suggests otherwise. Many studies find that working too many hours is counterproductive. The World Health Organization warns that working over 55 hours a week even comes with serious health risks.
According to Allina Health, going on vacation is healthy. It’s great for your mental and physical well-being, it helps bolster your relationships, and it’s also — believe it or not — important for your business.
When you decompress, your energy renews, your strength returns, and your mind opens to fresh ideas and perspectives. All good things when it comes to making business decisions.
But taking time off can be hard. You have to take that leap of faith. Here are tips and ideas on how to do that.
No one says you have to book a two-week vacation right out of the gate. Start by taking one day off. Build up to two. Then try a four-day mini-vacation.
As you grow more confident that your customers and employees will be there for you when you get back, you can gradually increase the length of your vacations.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably know your busy and slow times throughout the year. My slow month is June. Back in December, I booked a golf trip to Scotland with my son. I let my clients know well in advance the dates I’d be away. And I reassured myself that the work would be there when I got back.
I find that planning ahead – and around slow times – helps in many ways. It gives you time to target good vacation deals. It amps you up to work hard, knowing there’s a nice payoff at the end. It gives your customers time to prepare. And if you’re a one-man show and close shop completely, it lets you prepare financially for a week with little-to-no income.
Ignore your employees and they might ignore your business while you’re gone. On the flip side, if you make them feel like important cogs in the wheel while you’re there, they may feel more motivated to keep business churning when you’re not there.
One way to ensure they do: Take the time to build their skills so they can keep things running while you’re gone. Another way? Designate a leader — someone who will be responsible for overseeing operations and keeping employees focused and motivated in your absence.
Checking in on business-related matters while you’re on vacation defeats the purpose of checking out. Give yourself a break. A clean break.
If you run your business solo, limit the amount of time you monitor your email. You can respond to urgent requests but leave the others until you return.
If you have employees, trust that in the event any problems arise, your appointed team leader can handle them.
If you can’t go the entire time without checking in, consider letting your staff know you’ll check in only once throughout the day — or every other day. It will empower them to make decisions without you, while letting you take your true time off.
My mechanic closes his shop for the same two weeks in the summer every year. He puts a sign on his door weeks ahead of time reminding customers. Not only is it a courtesy, but it’s also a smart business move. One time I scheduled an overdue oil change and tire rotation before my mechanic left for vacation. He still got my business, just not the week he was gone. It worked out well for both of us.
Letting your customers know you’ll be away makes them feel valued and important, which could create more loyalty.
How many times have you asked yourself, “Am I doing the right things for my business to succeed?” The truth is, whether you’re on vacation or not, running a business comes with plenty of worry.
That’s why when it comes to insurance, we can give you one less thing to worry about. We’re champions of small businesses, and we’re built to help owners like you to protect the business you love with coverages tailored to your specific needs.
So, worry no more. Even if you already have coverage, you can double-check to make sure it’s the right fit. The extra assurance is a good feeling to have when you’re on vacation.
Plus, it’s super easy. All it takes is a few minutes using our free quote tool, or by calling one of our insurance experts at 844-654-7272.
Starting and running a business can be a 24/7 job. That doesn’t leave much leisure time for you — unless you carve it out for yourself.
Consider trying. After all, everyone needs time off. Kids get school vacations. Employees get vacation time from work. Entrepreneurs need time off, too.
The good news is you’re the boss. Make it happen. You might find it’s healthy for you – for your business, too.
I went to college to be an accountant and graduated with a degree in creative writing. Words won out over numbers, but barely. All credit goes to my parents. Had they talked about anything other than banking at the dinner table growing up—and had they never bribed me with Pop-Tarts to read books, play with my Matchbox cars and quietly exercise my imagination—who knows where my left and right brain would be today.
Chris writes on a number of topics such as legal resources, small business taxes, and social media marketing.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
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