How to Plan for Vacation as a Small Business Owner – And Why You Should

You would think that it would be easy to take a vacation when you own a small business. After all, you are the boss. Yes, you can set your own schedule, delegate tasks to your team and adjust as needed. But being the boss also means you wear all the hats. Even though you have some freedom in setting your schedule, vacation doesn’t always feel like vacation when you’re worried about what goes on while your away.

Even so, spending time away is incredibly important. It not only allows you to destress and reset, but it also sets a good example for your team. Many employees fail to use their vacation time because management does not, so they feel that they shouldn’t either. Your decisions and priorities set an example for your team and affect your company’s culture. Creating a culture that appreciates and prioritizes rest and rejuvenation will only lead to a more productive, creative and loyal work environment.

Here are a few tips and ideas that will help you plan a worry-free vacation:

Take advantage of slow periods

One of the reasons it’s so hard to get away is worrying about how your team will cope with the day-to-day rush. If your business experiences predictable slow periods during the year, try to find a dream vacation spot during those weeks. While the slow season may not always align with the best times to vacation at your dream destination, there are plenty of other options that will still give you the much needed time away at a beautiful spot, while your team handles a manageable load.

Prepare your team for your absence

The key to making sure your trip is a true pleasure is to take the extra time to prepare your business and your team for the day-to-day, as well as any foreseeable issues. Long before your vacation, put a plan in place for whom you will delegate your tasks to and how you’ll do it. This might involve passing tasks to one individual or dividing your responsibilities between several people. If there’s anything that can be put on hold until you return, go ahead and set it aside.

Let your clients know you’ll be unavailable

Your employees aren’t the only ones you should prepare for your absence; you’re clients should also know you will be away and when you’ll return, especially if you have individual clients that work with you personally. When you tell them what period you’ll be away, consider adding a day or two. This gives you plenty of time to get back in the office, catch up on what’s been going on and get back in the swing of things before taking on new issues.

Set vacation boundaries for yourself

The hardest part of all: completely turning off your “business brain”, leaving it all behind on your desk and truly enjoying your vacation. The secret is to set vacation rules for yourself. If you do need to check-in once a day, set a time of day you will check on your business and a time limit. As challenging as it sounds, try to avoid posting or reading social media while you’re gone too. Allow yourself some time just to live in the moment and relax – you won’t regret it.

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