Has 2015 been a busy year? We’re near the end, and if you’re feeling the effects of the grind, you owe it to yourself (and your family and your business) to take some time off.
And what better time to take a break than the holidays?
But as all small business owners know, taking time off can mean loss of income or a slowdown in the momentum you’ve worked so hard to build throughout the year. Ready for a vacation? Take a few easy steps, and your business will be ready for your vacation, too.
The key to being able to leave your small business is to have people you trust handling things for you. Is your staff fully trained? Do you allow them to do their work, or do you micromanage? A well-trained, competent staff can keep things running while you’re away. In advance of your trip, make sure everyone knows how to operate various parts of your business and how to handle large and small problems. Spend a little extra time at the office before you go to make sure any loose ends are tied up before you leave.
Your clients, customers, and partners need plenty of notice that you’re going on vacation. Be sure they know what to expect, when you’ll be gone, whether they will be able to reach you, and who they should contact while you’re away.
This is good advice for business owners in general, but it also applies when you’re going to be on vacation. Delegate the tasks you would otherwise do to your employees, part-time workers, or a freelancer. You’ll feel more comfortable going away if you know you have people you can trust running things.
This is probably the hardest part: When you get on vacation, do your best to unplug! Resist the urge to check in either by phone or email. Will being unable to handle a problem remotely increase your stress level?
Of course, every business and business owner is different, and checking in while you’re on vacation isn’t a crime – especially if you won’t be able to relax because you haven’t checked in.
Julie Elaine Brown of PopExpert suggests setting up a secret email address that you can share with family, close friends, and those you’ve left in charge of your business. They’re to use it only in the case of emergency or when a situation arises that they can’t resolve themselves.
If you’re planning to check in remotely, make sure you have the technology you need to do that. Is your smartphone or tablet up to the task? Don’t let tech troubles add to your frustration.
If you can’t get away for an extended vacation, give yourself little breaks during the holiday season. Take time off to go out to lunch, take the kids to see Santa, or go Christmas shopping. Taking a few hours off here and there will help your staff (and you!) get used to running things while you’re out of the office.
TELL US: Do you take regular vacations from your small business?