If there’s one thing that many small business owners skimp on, it’s vacation time. In some cases, business owners don’t even want to leave the office for job-related conferences and trade shows. They fear that nobody else can handle urgent matters or in some cases, even daily operations. However, everybody needs some time off. If you can’t figure out how to untangle yourself from your business long enough to leave town for a few days, these suggestions might help.
Take Advantage of Technology
You probably already use a mobile phone to check your email, receive text messages, and of course, to call clients. These days, you can also use a phone or tablet to schedule workflow, access your bank account, and check in with employees. Are you worried about having to pay unexpected bills while you’re away? A revolving line of credit makes it easy to access funds from anywhere.
You might also set up your email autoresponder and phone message to let people know that you have left and when you plan to return. You can even use automation to schedule blog posts or social marketing in advance, so your business won’t lose any traction while you’re gone. It’s difficult to think of many aspects of managing a business that you cannot use technology to handle remotely.
Plan Your Vacation in Advance
Of course, you might not relax if you just intend to plan your vacation around working remotely. If you can’t take time to enjoy yourself, you might as well stay home. If you can plan your absence in advance, you can make sure you don’t have any urgent projects that are due while you’re away. You also have a chance to let clients and vendors know when you intend to leave and how long you’ll be away.
If you have employees, your planning could also include ensuring that they know how to handle some of your tasks while you’re gone. You might think that nobody can handle your job as well as you, and you could be right, but that attitude can also make your life a lot more stressful. Your employees will probably appreciate a chance to handle some additional responsibilities. If you don’t have any employees, you may decide to hire a virtual assistant or temporary worker to handle certain tasks while you’re gone that just can’t get done remotely.
Use the Vacation as a Change to Get Organized
Are you afraid to leave your desk because your normal workday consists of hours of catching up or firefighting? Are you afraid that nobody else will be able to find important documents or other supplies if you’re gone? You might use this vacation as a chance to improve the way you work. For example, you might benefit from using scheduling or time management software. You can take the opportunity to get your office organized. If you’re like most business owners, you can certainly benefit from delegating more.
These improvements in organization and time management will pay off during your trip and long into the future. When you return, you can also enjoy your normal workdays more if you acquire tools and habits that help you stay organized, focused, and more efficient.
Enjoy Your Vacation — Your Business Will Still Be There When You Return
If you run a successful business, it’s likely that you’ve been pouring your time, energy, and heart into it for quite a while. Your concerns about leaving are entirely understandable and not at all uncommon. Most business owners regard their company as an extension of themselves. In some cases, the business almost becomes like a child. However, children need to grow up and become more independent. When your business can run without you for a few days or even a few weeks, you’ll know that you have been an effective steward.
Yes, your business is very important. However, you and your family are important too. Use your time away to recharge yourself and strengthen your relationships. You’ll probably find that you’ll return to your desk with renewed energy, just as much dedication to success, and maybe even some new ideas. Enjoy your vacation – you deserve it!