As a small business owner, you work hard and we are guessing you are long overdue for a vacation. In case you haven’t heard, employees in the US are terrible at using their vacation days. Glassdoor conducted a survey and found that only 23% of employees take all of their eligible time off. We understand when you’re the one running the show it can be hard to step away, but taking a breather for yourself is crucial to staying healthy and avoiding burnout. We have some suggestions for how you can get better at planning a vacation (or staycation – anything that gets you to take a break) no matter what type of business you have.
For the Solopreneurs
When you’re truly working alone, you may be struggling to figure out how to line things up for when you want to take a break. You’ll likely think about any clients you have, your never ending to-do list, and other timely commitments. First things first, crack open a calendar and start mapping things out. Look at any deadlines you’ve already committed to in relation to when you want to take some time off. When you’re ready to start booking, give your clients as much notice as possible. Remember – they take vacations too so don’t feel bad about taking a little time for yourself. Next, when you are finally prepping to hit the road, set an out of office automatic reply to let people know how long you’ll be out and when they can expect to get a response. You don’t want your clients or customers to think that you are ignoring them and their messages aren’t important to you. This article from Inc. offers an interesting approach to handling your OOO response. If you’re super active on social media, or have a website where people can place orders, it never hurts to over communicate and let them know that they will be out so they don’t think you have ghosted them.
When You Have a Team
Just like the solopreneurs, business owners that manage a team or have multiple employees will also want to do some prep work before they take off for a getaway. Give your staff as much notice as possible and create a plan for who will be the point of contact while you’re away. If you have part time employees that you make a schedule for, try to have administrative duties like that handled in advance. Another option to leaving someone in charge is to leave no one in charge and close up shop for the time you’re gone, which is actually a fairly common option. By doing this, all of your employees will also get a break, and you’ll have a chance to cut back on some of your expenses. While you’ll be cutting back on some expenses, you’re also cutting into your income, which is something to keep in mind. With this method, communication with your customers is key. Give them advanced notice and make sure that any notes you leave have a clear return time and reason for being gone so the rumor mill doesn’t start churning. The Balance features an article that lays out some additional helpful tips to keep in mind for a worry free vacation.
It’s not unheard of or a crime to take a vacation as a small business owner. Being overworked, burnt out and stressed does nothing to lead to the success of your business. By prepping early and communicating clearly, you’ll be able to kick back, unplug and unwind from your small business duties. One thing you don’t have to worry about on vacation? Payroll. When you use SurePayroll, you can process payroll from anywhere, anytime. From a beach, a mountain, or even a battleship tour, we will help take one thing off your to-do list to make your vacation as smooth as possible.