For small business owners, taking a vacation — at least one where you don’t spend the whole time tethered to your smartphone or computer — may seem nearly impossible. Here’s what you need to do so you can relax and enjoy the time away from your business.
Running a business? Think you can’t get away for vacation? Or, do you worry that if you do go on vacation, you’ll need to spend hours hunched over your laptop in your hotel room or take endless business calls while you’re on the beach or sightseeing? All while your family fumes at your inability to leave work at home?
You’re not alone. According to a study published by Ondeck Capital, only 57% of small business owners planned to take a vacation. Furthermore, a report published by the Xero accounting software company found that 85 percent of small businesses owners admit to working while on vacation, with 60 percent checking in proactively at least daily.
The good news is that owning a small business doesn’t have to prevent you from taking a vacation and enjoying time away from your small business. But, as much as I’d love to tell you it’s possible to totally unplug yourself from your business while you go on vacation for a week or two, I can’t.
That’s because I’m one of those small business owners who won’t leave for any kind of trip without my smart phone and my laptop. But even though I check in on things while I’m gone, I’ve learned ways to minimize the time I spend working. Here are strategies I use that you can use or adapt for your needs.
Prepare your business in advance for your vacation
The key to making your pleasure trip a real pleasure is to prepare customers and your employees for your absence.
If you have individual clients who work with you, personally (instead of working with any of your employees), alert them in advance to your vacation schedule and that you will be unavailable to do their work during your vacation.
If you have clients who tend to wait until the last moment to have work done, tell them you’re going to leave (or be will be unavailable) starting several days before you actually plan to leave for vacation. That way, you won’t have to deal with their last-minute requests when you want to be packing and getting ready to leave.