This guest post was written by Rose Wheeler
When you’re running a business taking time off for a vacation shouldn’t be optional. You’re working flat out to be successful, and you deserve a break just as much as any salaried employee. But many small business owners will tell you it’s not that simple. And, it gets even more challenging if you’re a solopreneur with no-one to cover for you.
Don’t stress it! It can be done. A bit of careful planning and appropriate communication, and you’ll get your well-deserved break. You’ll almost certainly return relaxed, refreshed and filled with new money-making ideas for your business.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead – Months Ahead
Not just for the time that’s you’ll be away but for the weeks immediately beforehand and afterward. Think about your ongoing workload and the work that will be suspended during your break. Tell your customers, partners, and employees as far ahead as possible, so they are fully aware of your plans. If your business is seasonal or runs in clear cycles, then it makes sense to plan your vacation for slower periods.
Tip #2: Get Cover if You Can
If you have employees, then get someone senior and experienced enough to provide some level of cover. This can range from completely taking over your role to just telling clients in person that you’re away and when you’ll be back. If you don’t have employees, then ask a trusted friend or business associate to field your calls and emails for you or to handle any urgent queries. Offer to return the favor!
Tip # 3: Use Email “Out of Office” and Voicemail Messages
A clever but succinctly-worded message can serve to emphasize your commitment to your business and customers. In case any potential new customers try to make contact, include information about your website and invite them to leave a message that you promise to pick up on Day One of your return.
Tip #4: Consider Doing Some Work
Many small business owners confess that they find it hard to switch off while on vacation completely. If this sounds like you – and your family or loved ones agree –think about spending a minimum agreed amount of time each day reading and answering emails or listening to voicemails. If doing this for one hour a day means you can relax for the other 23, then it’s worth it.
Tip #5: Little and Often
If the thought of a week or two weeks away from the grind makes you nervous, then take some long weekends instead (you can make these even longer if you also factor in national holidays). You might find that shorter, more frequent breaks can be just as beneficial as long weeks away and have less of an impact on your business.
Business owners and vacations don’t always mix and for some “vacation anxiety” is a real thing. But with just a bit of advanced planning, you can take off for that hard-earned holiday with minimal disruption to business-as-usual.
The opinions, representations, and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of Tierra Wilson, LLC as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.
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