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5 Summer Vacation Tips for Small Business Owners

5 Summer Vacation Tips for Small Business Owners

Everyone needs time off. Your employees need a little getaway every once in a while, and so do you! If you’re planning for a little rest and relaxation, here are some tips to make your time away as enjoyable and as worry-free as possible.

1. Let people know you’re taking time off.

Put your vacation on the calendar early so your employees can prepare for your time away. They may have questions to ask about daily operations that you usually handle or need a little prep time to get large projects complete before you go.  Your staff should know how long you’ll be gone and be trained to handle new tasks well in advance of your departure.

If you’re a solo-preneur, tell your clients when you’ll be unavailable.

2. Decide now whether you’ll be taking a working vacation.

There’s nothing wrong with doing a little business from the beach. There’s also nothing wrong with turning off your phone, computer and other electronics for the duration of your vacation. But decide how you plan to handle incidentals before you leave. If you won’t be available at all, let others know the shop is closed — no exceptions. Or if you’ve got employees manning the ship for you, give them the authority to call the shots in your absence.

3. Assign someone to be in charge while you’re gone.

If you operate a service-based business, it’s a little easier to close up shop for a vacation. You can schedule appointments and services around your time away. However, if you run a brick-and-mortar or e-commerce business, it’s a bad idea to close completely. You need to put someone in charge while you’re gone and delegate. It might be a family member who knows the business well or a trustworthy employee who’s capable of making tough decisions while you’re out. Let clients and other staff know who will be calling the shots.

4. Plan ahead.

If you’re a small business owner, spontaneity probably isn’t an option. Make a checklist of items to complete before you go on vacation to avoid moments of panic. You know the ones I’m talking about — like when you’re at 30,000 feet and you suddenly realize you forgot to lock the shop door or make that last deposit.

5. Let go and have some fun.

Vacation is an opportunity to step back from your hectic pace, refresh and get rid of the feelings of overwhelm. If you give yourself time to relax, you’re more likely to find renewed energy and be more creative when you return to your business. Plus, handing over the reigns is an opportunity for you to groom new leaders and set your business on a path for growth.

On the flip side, if you feel like your business would crumble without you, it might indicate that something’s wrong. Maybe it’s time to streamline workflow, purchase new software, hire additional staff, or let go of products and services that are dragging the business down.

Will you be taking time off this summer? Are you prepared?

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About Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a freelance writer in Indianapolis. She also blogs at Suess’s Pieces, home of Writers' Week and the 2012 Brave Little Blogger Contest. Read more about Emily.
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