Running a business isn’t easy – even if it’s a labor of love. There are so many plates to spin and so many unexpected events that always crop up. If you’re a business owner, you’ll know how difficult it can be to take a break. If you’re not there to run things, how will the organization cope?
It’s a very natural emotion; yet with recent UK studies showing 51% of small business owners have experienced burnout, it is clear that far too many entrepreneurs aren’t taking the time out they need to recharge their batteries and look after their own wellbeing.
If this sounds like you, then it’s high time you took some time off. But how can you do it and stay sane? Read on to learn how you can take a vacation when you run a business.
If you want to enjoy a pleasurable vacation, relatively free of worry, then planning everything in advance is essential. Think about how your business works – are there certain times of the year when things just slow down in the sector you operate in, and the phone calls and emails just thin out?
If so, then that’s a perfect time for you to fit in a break. Even if this doesn’t tend to happen with your business, planning far in advance will enable you to set priorities and make sure everything is left in good order. Last-minute breaks should be avoided!
Train Your Staff
If you have employees and you don’t feel you can leave them to run things for even a small amount of time, then you’ve either got the wrong employees or you haven’t trained them well enough. In most businesses, it is the latter, without question.
You need to train your staff on how the critical business functions work and then delegate important tasks to them on an ongoing basis. Give them the authority to make decisions and see how they handle them. If they perform well, then you can have confidence the business won’t collapse around your ears when you take a few days off.
Stay Ahead of Key Tasks
Make sure all the important work is either completed before you go or is left in capable hands. Putting in a little extra time before you go on vacation will reap benefits when you’re lying on that beach! Also, put together a plan of action for when you return from your break – that way you’ll hit the ground running, feel more focused, and help to lessen those post-vacation blues.
Tell Your Clients
Seems like a no-brainer, but many business owners simply don’t want to tell their clients they’re taking a break. They fear that they won’t seem committed to the cause. Well, with the right forward planning, with correctly trained staff, these fears can be melted away.
Tell your clients you are taking a vacation well in advance of travel – and tell them who will be in place to assist them while you are away. If you’ve already been delegating tasks, then your client will know they’ll be in good hands. If it is genuinely only you who can help, then let the client know strict times when you will be available.
Assign Time for Work
If your business is structured in a way that it is possible to escape for a few days, then make sure that’s what you do. For the rest of us mortals, it is best to accept that we will have to spend some of our vacation time doing at least some work!
The goal is to get the balance right, and to do that, assign time each day where you will perform tasks, whether it’s monitoring emails, answering questions, or making telephone calls. Set strict time limits and stick to them. Of course, make sure you are always available for emergencies – but be sure your team and your clients know what applies to an emergency situation.
Wherever you go on vacation, a stable and strong internet connection is an absolute must. As long as you can connect to WiFi, you can monitor and respond to emails as necessary, attend Zoom meetings with staff and clients, and access data held on your Cloud system. You don’t need to be in constant contact, but knowing you can easily organize things if you need to will put your mind at rest and help you relax!
Don’t make your break a working vacation. It’s so tempting to do it, especially given how easy technology makes it to do so these days. But if you don’t allow yourself time to relax and truly unwind, then any benefits will be completely lost. You will likely return even more stressed and burned out.
Remember, a vacation can allow you to refresh, refocus and can even inspire great new ideas to take your business to another level. So, lie by the pool, drink a cocktail, grab a massage, see some sights, buy Russian concert tickets in Miami – whatever tickles your fancy!
Published February 25th, 2022