I know it may sound like a crazy concept. You are a small business owner, responsible for every facet of your business, and I am telling you to take a vacation.
Truth be told, I don’t take much time off myself…. That being said, taking a vacation may be just what your business needs.
A recent Intuit study found that 82% of small business owners who took a vacation experienced an increase in job performance when they came back. Although the thought of even taking a vacation can be stressful, taking time away may allow you to think more creatively about your business and it’s bigger picture. It can be good for your health too.
Remember we all got into business for ourselves for a reason. Sometimes we have to take some time away to reflect on our overall goals and purpose for the business.
Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing at j2, explained to Inc.com in an interview that while j2’s recent poll of small business owners revealed that more than half are planning on either skipping their vacation entirely or working through their time away, his experience working with small businesses shows that “vacations are good for the soul and for the business.”
Here are 4 tips on how you can sneak away from your business and return recharged to increase productivity and sales going forward:
- Plan ahead
- Delegate whenever possible
- Notify your customers
- Stay in touch
In many businesses there are periods when business is slower. Try to predict when you may not be as busy. A tax accountant for example, wouldn’t want to plan a trip during tax season – you get the idea.
If there is anyone else in your business that can assist you while you are gone – delegate work to them. Even if you just have someone to answer the phone and relay important messages to you, that can help.
Notify your customers that you will be away. Try to anticipate what your customers needs might be while you are away and address them prior to leaving. Provide your clients with someone that they can contact in your absence for immediate issues. It is also equally important to change your voice mail and out of office message on your email to reflect that you will be away. The worst thing you can do is not make others aware that you will be gone.
Touch base with the office from time to time. Call in and check emails periodically – perhaps once in the morning and once late afternoon. In some cases checking in can be beneficial. You can put out any immediate fires and or get a comfort level that there aren’t any. Technology is your friend – with email, Skype and blackberries, you can get a lot done remotely.
It’s important to remember however that if work your entire vacation, there’s no point in going on one. Your overall goal is to come back refreshed. So – you owe to yourself and your business to take some time off. Long weekends are a good way to start, but research has found that it may not be a sufficient amount of time.
So if you are looking to increase productivity, taking some time off may be just what the doctor ordered.
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