Every Small Business Owner Needs a Vacation

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Welcome to the June edition of The Monthly Huddle– A short, sweet, and to-the-point advice blog for tackling some of business management’s most difficult questions! This month, we’ll go over three tactics you can use to take a vacation as a small business owner.

Summer is the ideal time for a family vacation, but that’s simply not in the cards for most business owners. With so many moving parts, just walking away to enjoy yourself can create feelings of anxiety, guilt, and loss of control. 

The majority of small business owners have trouble getting away from it all during the summer. 

A survey by the Office Depot Small Business Index found that “66 percent of small business owners find it difficult, at least sometimes, to take time off from work during the summer; 76 percent will stay connected to their business in some way even if they do take time off.”

It doesn’t have to be that way!

With a shift in mindset (a business coach can help!) and a few forward-thinking strategies, you just might find yourself having a little fun in the sun before September rolls around. 

Give Them 15 Minutes a Day

As a small business owner, taking a vacation is tough because it is entirely unreasonable to unplug from your team completely. The pressure to do so can be more overwhelming than not going on holiday at all. 

A fair compromise, then, is to give your team 15 minutes of contact time with you a day. 

Whether it’s a phone call with your second-in-command or a time when you’re willing to accept and answer emailed questions, let them know that you’re still going to be checking in daily.

At the very least, it assures that you know disaster hasn’t struck, and it lets your employees know that they won’t have some major explaining to do about something that went wrong the first day that you’re back in the building. 

Track Where the Issues Arise

Without you around, there are going to be some processes that fall through the cracks. 

Instead of seeing that as a failure, think of it as a point of growth. 

Then, when you return, talk with the team about what felt too overwhelming to handle without you there. Ask questions about things that went wrong, who took preventative steps before they went wrong, and how they think you would have handled it. 

Finally, come up with a plan that matches up with everyone’s preferred outcomes. 

Hopefully, next time you’re gone, the areas where things slid will have a clear plan of action. 

Directly Train a Point Person

Assign someone the task of being the person you talk to when you’re not around. This might be your pre-existing second-in-command, or it could be someone else you trust to rise to the occasion. 

Your point person doesn’t necessarily have to make any decisions or step in as relief manager. Their primary purpose is facilitating communication.

Their role will be to send you an email or text with a consolidated list of questions, concerns, or comments that come up throughout the day. Then, you’ll email them back with the answers to those questions, which they then disperse out to the team. 

This method also allows you to step in if something dire is happening, without being pressured by many different voices to step in just because something seems serious because multiple people are worked up over it. 

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