Taking time off can be the opposite of relaxing when you’re a small business owner. You might be the only employee or the leader of a small team, so leaving your business can feel impossible. Vacations as a business owner require a ton of planning and forethought to ensure your business can run smoothly without you.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take vacations. Actually, you need to take some time off now and then. Time away from work is essential for your health as it gives your body and mind the proper time to recharge from the stress of running a business. Not only that, but taking time off to stay healthy sends an impactful message to your employees. If they see you prioritizing your health and well-being, they’re more likely to take time for themselves too. You need healthy employees to keep your business running, and taking time off can help eliminate burnout.
If you’re thinking about taking some time off this year (and you should!), here’s how to make your vacation stress-free.
Find your slow periods.
You know your business better than anyone, including what time of year it’s slow. Maybe you live in a tourist town, and summers are bustling while winters leave your business deserted. Those slow periods are the perfect time of year to plan your vacation! A slow business period will mean you’ll minimize your profit loss if you have to close, or if you stay open, there will be less stress on your employees.
Set clear rules for yourself.
So you know when your business is slow, and you’re ready to plan a vacation. It’s time to decide how involved you want to be with your business while you’re away.
If you have a small team of part or full-time employees, it might not be possible to totally leave your business behind. Choose how often you want to check in with your company. Consider picking a specific time frame of each day that you will be available to answer questions or other business concerns. Maybe you won’t take any calls but will be available to answer emails any time, or vice versa.
Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate this schedule with your employees. Let them know when they can reach you and that you will only be answering messages during your specified time frame. You want to ensure you enjoy your time off, so avoid getting sucked into working the days away.
Identify any possible issues.
Before you take off, think of anything that could go wrong. Of course, we wish it never happens, but it’s still a good idea to be prepared. This list should include things from power outages to difficult customers that may pop in during your absence. Clearly outline a plan of action for your managers or staff to follow in case of any obstacle they cannot conquer on their own. Doing this leaves you and your team with peace of mind that if something goes wrong, everyone can take steps to fix the issues.
We shouldn’t need to say it, but we will: enjoy your vacation! As a small business owner, you have worked your tail off to get this far. Long nights and endless overtime adds up quickly, so you deserve a break from the daily struggles of running a company. A burnt-out boss is a surefire way to sink your organization before it ever has time to thrive.
The most important thing to remember is to plan as much as possible. The more you can prepare, the more you can rest easy that your business will run smoothly in your absence. Enjoy your much-deserved time off!