When you run a small business, taking a vacation isn't as simple as asking your supervisor for a few weeks off. You must do a lot of planning to make sure everything remains operational in your absence. Because of this, many business owners don't take vacations, but it is important! The time off is a chance to relax and recharge.
Planning is everything when your livelihood depends on running your business. With that in mind, here are four tips for making a vacation happen this summer.
Recognize the Need for a Break
You need to acknowledge that taking time off is important. Not just for your personal wellbeing, but also for the success of your business in the long-term. Getting away from structure and getting a break from it allows the small business owner
to take a breather, and shift their thoughts from 'work' mode to 'play' mode.
Develop a Vacation Plan for Yourself and Your Employees
Have a team meeting to discuss and review vacation needs and your current policy. Does everyone need to take separate breaks or do you all go at once and shut the business down for a week? Does it not matter if you can find backup well in advance? Discuss how much prep time you need for everyone and put it on a visual calendar.
Plan and Book your Trip Months Out
There's always going to be a reason not to go, so it's important to give yourself a reason not to stay. Plan your vacation well in advance and book your travel arrangements ahead of time. Then get it on your calendar. That way, you'll be more protective of your vacation, and your clients and employees will be able to plan ahead to remain in routine during your absence.
Notify Your Clients Well in Advance
It doesn't matter what line of business you're in, you must tell your clients when you're planning on taking a vacation. Give them enough lead time to adjust accordingly. How far in advance you should let clients know depends on your individual relationships with them. However, at least a month is a good rule of thumb. This gives enough time to make alternate arrangements as needed. If taking some time off means closing shop, consider arranging backup services
for your clients. They will likely appreciate that you went the extra mile and value your input about backup providers.
Make Yourself Accessible... Or Don't
Being available at least via email could be a good idea to maintain a positive relationship with your clients, and it might give you peace of mind, as well. It can be stressful to wonder if people are trying to get in touch to troubleshoot issues that might arise. Or, you may want to take a true vacation with no outside communication. A total, uninterrupted break from work can be good for you. If that's the route you want take, just make sure you've put a backup contact in place until you come back. You can set up an automatic reply email letting your clients know you are out, and that you will respond to their needs when you return.
Taking a time off is good for your health, as de-stressing can reduce blood pressure and increase energy, among other benefits. With that in mind, it might be best to not let another summer pass you by without taking (or making) some time for yourself. Your future health, happiness, and success may depend on it!
Stay Focused. Grow Confidently.
Written By: Lindsey Baird | WSC Business Solutions