Monday June 4, 2018
Think you can’t take a vacation because you’re an entrepreneur? Think again. You can – and SHOULD – take time off. As a business owner, you don’t often get that separation between work and home that most others do – you are constantly turned on and tuned in. If you don’t take some time off, you’ll likely run yourself (and your business) into the ground.
Taking a vacation can seem far-fetched, but here’s how to make it happen:
As soon as January rolls around, schedule your time off for the upcoming year. Put everything on your calendar – from day trips to weekends away, to full-on vacations. As a business owner, nothing makes things easier than knowing what to expect.
When you schedule in advance, it allows you to plan your workflow for that time properly and helps ensure you don’t end up missing deadlines or, worse, working during vacation! Plus, your clients will appreciate the notice.
In life, nothing ever turns out quite how we expect; when it comes to time off, the same holds true. Unless you’re planning a trip that requires hotel reservations and plane tickets, try to be a little bit flexible. Pick a few different weekends that might work for that trip to the beach. Have options in mind in case that night at the B&B doesn't work out. Countless things can pop up (like a client who has an emergency project that can't wait, or a child who came down with a stomach bug) – and a little flexibility can assure that you get the time off that you deserve.
Consider Your Timing
If there are times of year when your business tends to get slammed (like April for accountants), you should not take vacation during those periods. Always consider what projects you have coming up (New product launch? Big ad campaign? Special promotion?) and plan accordingly.
If you've ever considered hiring an assistant, now is the time! Finding someone you trust to stand in for you can alleviate a lot of stress. Make sure you bring them on board far enough in advance so they can become familiar with your day-to-day activities and customer relationships. To ensure that things run smoothly while you're away, go over all standard procedures, as well as what to do in an emergency.
Stay in the Loop
With products like AllProWebTools, Asana, or Trello, you can quickly pop in now and then to check on things. Use collaborative tools like this to stay on top of work while you're away – but within limits. You don't want to spend your entire vacation micro-managing from afar.
Eliminating work from your vacation time will be easier if you let your team know which circumstances require your immediate attention, and which ones do not. If the building is burning while you’re away, that’s probably something you’ll want to know right away. But if a client’s late on a payment, that’s probably something you don’t need to know until you get back to the office. If you are going to check your emails or sign into your group chat daily, do it at a specific time, and disconnect for the rest of the day. The entire point of vacation is to take some time off and relax – something you can't do glued to your laptop or phone.
Running a business is a more than a full-time job for most entrepreneurs, and planning a vacation is just one more challenge that they face. But with a little thought and preparation, it can and SHOULD be done😊