Running your own business can be the both most rewarding and the most stressful thing you’ve ever done.
Managing employees and making sure everything runs smoothly can be extremely difficult, to say the least. Many business owners find themselves working well over 60 hours per week and that’s while in the office. Then, when you get home, there are usually additional emails to be read and work to be caught up on.
So I’d say, when it’s time to take a much-needed vacation, it’s important to feel as though you can leave without worrying that your business will crumble in your absence.
One of the best ways to do this is to plan well ahead of time so that you can relax while you’re away. From designating one employee to be responsible for major operations to automating certain functions that don’t need your physical presence, a good plan will ensure that you can walk out and leave work behind you for a little while.
Here are some great tips to ensure your practice runs smoothly while you’re on vacation:
If you keep excellent records and have a well-organized calendar, this should be fairly easy. Look to see what appointments you have coming up, which tasks should be prioritized before you leave, and how many meetings you’ll miss while you’re on vacation. Change your outgoing messages and emails accordingly so that clients know they can reach you when you return, and have one employee be responsible for handling emergency calls.
Prepare Your Team
Even if your business only has three employees, it’s essential that you prepare and train them for your absence. This means making sure they are on-task and aware of all your clients’ upcoming needs. It might be a good idea to have the person you’ve put in charge put together a list of tasks they’ll be working on and send it to you in the form of an email at the end of each week with notations showing what has been done. This way, you can not only keep track of what’s happening while you’re gone, you’ll be up-to-date when you return.
Learn How to Say No
Not only do you need to help your business run smoothly in your absence, you also need to learn how to make your time off as beneficial as possible. Learning how to say “no” while you’re away will help you reduce stress and allow you to relax, so remind yourself not to answer emails or work-related calls during this time. Instead, refer all questions to your designated employee, and don’t feel obligated to check in every day. If you’ve prepared your team well, you shouldn’t have to.
Don’t Leave Them Guessing
The people who will run your business while you’re away need to be given explicit instructions on how to handle daily operations. Don’t leave them to figure it out on their own. Even if the person left in charge knows the ins and outs of the company, make sure they are comfortable with upcoming projects before you leave.
Planning a vacation can be a worry some for any business owner, especially if you have always been involved in every aspect since day one. Keep in mind that your team has a stake in the business’s success, as well, and will be working in your absence to make sure things run smoothly.
With planning and preparation, you can make sure that relaxation and rest are the only things on your agenda. In my book, Straight Talk for Small Business Success in New Jersey, I focus heavily on the importance of having systems in place and how to start creating them for your business. Click here to get your copy and take a real vacation.