Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Taking a Vacation from Your Business

It's summer time! It's hot and the kids are out of school which means its prime time for a vacation right? If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, taking a vacation from your business might be well deserved but tricky...even downright near impossible. But we believe in vacations and we believe in you so here's 5 ways to get a break from your business without sending it into a downward spiral.

1. Split Week Trips
Many self employed business owners complain that taking a whole week off adds more stress to the vacation because they are constantly checking email and voicemail. The solution might be splitting your time off between two weeks. For example: Taking off Thursday and Friday of one week and then Monday and Tuesday of the next. Most business owners can manage taking two business days off in a week because you have three days to cushion the blow. Use your first set of work days to prepare to be gone and then use the next week to catch up. This 'illusion' will also look better to vendors and clients because it doesn't 'feel' like you were gone very long.

2. Schedule Business Time
If you just can't get away entirely, plan out your trip to include a day where you have some free time to handle business. Your family might be bothered if you are always checking your email so schedule time on one or two days to handle all emails and voicemail calls. We mean it when we say "Schedule." Limit the amount of time and stick to it! It's a good idea to let your business associates or clients know that you will only be available at that time. Once the time is up...even though it may be tempting to answer another email...walk away. This will ensure that you prioritize what you do during this designated business time.

3. Designate a Temporary Assistant
This may be very difficult for some business owners to do but it can be an extremely valuable strategy...expecially if you don't already have an assistant. If you have employees, pick your most responsible person and ask them to act as your assistant while you're away. Pay them a bonus for extra time spent if appropriate and spend a few hours each week prior to your trip discussing certain tasks that you need them to manage. Most of the time, it can be as simple as designating this temporary assistant to respond to any messages or phone calls with a personalized vacation message.

4. Schedule Ahead
Most of the time, business owners bend over backwards to operate within their customer's time frame however, when you want to take a vacation, you need to actively plan your time. Tell clients and associates that you are unavailable for scheduling on the week you want to take off. Everyone from doctors to contractors to Donald Trump does this type of planning and you can too.

5. Find a Dead Zone
Our last option is for those business owners who don't have the self control to say no. If you cannot say no to your smart phone or laptop while on vacation then your best bet is to find an area that doesn't have cell phone covereage or wireless internet. Use the time to work on your self control so that you can manage your time more effectively.

Believe it or not - It's not healthy to work all of the time. Yes, your business might be all YOU but that is only because you have structured it that way. Take control of your time and energy, acknowlege that you need a break and make it happen! You will be ten times more energized to get back to work if you truly got your needed time away.

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