Ahhhhhh…. Summer is here and I am one happy girl!
I wouldn’t consider myself outdoorsy per se, but I do love a good book and a boozy drink under the hot sun while lounging by someone’s pool… I love the long days and lighting sparklers with the kids after dark and seeing the wonder in their eyes as they chase fireflies…
And, I – like errrrm, errrybody – love love love a good vacation!
I especially love vacationing over the summer because I don’t have to fight the kids’ or my husband’s school schedule. And in general, we’re all just a little more relaxed and carefree over the summer.
But… taking a vacation as an entrepreneur can feel a little less than carefree, and that’s if you can find it within yourself to leave your business at all.
Plus, if you do find that you can take a break from your business for a week or two, you certainly don’t want to spend your entire time away glued to your phone or laptop or stressed that everything’s going haywire because you’re not there to manage things.
Fear not, dear friend! I’m going to give you a few tips on how you can take a break from your business so you can actually enjoy your vacation – all while ensuring that all your hard work doesn’t go out the window while you’re gone!
Vacations Are Non-Negoshe…
First, if you are one of the 40% in the US who did not take a vacation last year, let me take a few seconds to ‘splain to you why it’s so important to incorporate vacation into your life.
Not only is the downtime critical for the sake of your sanity and mental well-being, but vacations are also imperative for keeping those creative juices flowing and find the space to refocus on how to move your business forward.
It’s easy to get stuck in a thinking rut when you’re knee-deep in the day-to-day of your business. Personally, I find it very challenging to come up with fresh ideas on ways to take my business to new heights when my computer is staring me in my face. I need lots of white space to get my brain thinking differently. Like in the shower. Or in my dreams. Or on a beach. And that’s exactly what going on vacation does for me – breaks the monotony and gives my brain the freedom to think creatively.Not only is the downtime critical for the sake of your sanity and mental well-being, but vacations are also imperative for keeping those creative juices flowing and find the space to refocus on how to move your business forward.Click To Tweet
You Really Only Have Two Options
Now that we’ve established why vacations help you AND your business, let’s talk about the how.
The truth of the matter is: you really only have two options when it comes to taking a break from the business:
- Shut down completely
- Delegate the day-to-day tasks
Whatever you choose will be completely dependent on your specific business. However, regardless of which route you go, the key to making your vacation successful will be to prepare as far in advance as you can.
As soon as you know the dates of your vacation, tell everyone who touches your business and put it on every single calendar you own. Electronic calendars, shared calendars, in your bullet journal (a post on my obsession with my bullet journal is coming soon!)… Then begin to plan your projects around your off time.
On those calendar(s), I recommend marking stopping points for your projects/orders at least three days before you go out of town, allowing for a buffer to fix something in case a last-minute hiccup arises (and they almost always do, amirite??)
If You Shut the Business Down Completely:
Let Your Regular Clients Know
Reach out to regular clients well in advance of your vacation and let them know that you’ll be taking time off. This means that any projects or orders or services that you typically provide will need to be scheduled around your time away.
Do As Much As You Can Ahead Of Time
This could include creating and scheduling blog posts, scheduling social media posts, or automating invoicing or bill payments. Make a list of what needs to be done and use those few (hopefully) quiet days prior to your vacation to wrap those types of loose ends up.
Let Your Out Of Office Do The Talking
Trust me, I recognize the goal is to completely detach from your business for a period of time. But if you’re a solopreneur, that may not be entirely possible (depending on your business). To ensure that you’re not glued to your phone or computer, start with a detailed out of office email and /or phone voicemail that states when you’ll be back in the office (pro tip: bake in an extra day or two even after you return) and how often you’ll be checking email or voicemail. Once a day should suffice to ensure there are no emergencies that need your attention.
If You Delegate Your Day-To-Day Tasks To Someone
Leave Detailed Instructions Behind
This should go without saying, but you’ll want to leave behind a detailed instruction manual that explicitly outlines each component of a task. The easiest way to do that is by copying and pasting screenshots alongside clear step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task. Be sure to leave login names and passwords to the systems that you use (you can always change your password when you get back if you’re worried about security).
Hire Temporary Help
If you don’t have a big team and just need to make sure the lights stay on, there is nothing wrong with hiring someone temporary and/or part-time to handle a few things while you’re gone. Check with your friends for references, or do like I did and post on the site Nextdoor for some assistance. You’ll get responses from people in the neighborhood who you’ll have a higher likelihood of trusting.
Assess Your Team’s Strengths And Delegate Accordingly
Match tasks to personalities and strong suits. Make sure you’re assigning the customer-facing tasks to the person on your team (or the person you hire) with the right personality for it. Or the techy tasks to the one who’s best with computers, etc.
Yes, You Can Take A Vacation As An Entrepreneur – And ENJOY it!
Taking a vacation as an entrepreneur is good for both you and the business. Because let’s face it: Everyone needs a break sometimes. And I know it may feel like your business will fall apart without your constant attention. But the reality is it won’t. Your customers will understand as long as you take care of them and properly set their expectations.
I want to know what you think? Have you set yourself up with systems and processes that allow you to break from your business every once in a while? Or do you worry that things will crumble without you there to manage? Or a little of both? Let me know in the comments! And as always, if anything in this article resonated with you, or you know somebody who could use this advice, I’d appreciate a share! Sharing is caring!!
Cheers To The Journey,