Yes, you really can take that vacation!
In my last blog, I shared several reasons why taking time away from your business to rest and relax is not only good for you, it’s good for your business.
You might have read that and were thinking, “Wendy, great idea but how on earth can I do it?”
Trust me, I understand. But like I said before, I took a family vacation in June and came back and my business was just fine! More importantly, I was refreshed and ready to tackle my workload again, including a few things that had to be left to complete for when I returned.
First, I want to remind you that you don’t need to take some big, week-long vacation. Time away from your business could simply be that you shut off your computer and all your work accounts for the weekend. Try to not do any weekend work unless absolutely necessary and even then, set a time limit. For example, the weekend is when I tend to catch up on running my own business (like working on my blogs).
Unplugging from work even for a couple of days each week will help keep you and your family sane. Just because the world seems to run 24/7 doesn’t mean you need to. It really is OK to set boundaries!
Longer trips take a bit more planning
I also recommend that you still take those longer, perhaps four-day or full week trips away to explore other parts of this world, even if it’s just a couple hours away. Here are some tips for what you need to consider when preparing to be away from your business.
Notify your clients
Depending on your industry and workload, you will need to give clients ample time to be aware that you’re gone. Especially if you’re going to be moving usual deadlines earlier or later. This usually means letting them know before the morning that you leave! Also, make sure to set a vacation response on your business email so people who email you don’t get the impression they are being ignored.
Make sure business operations are covered
When you are a sole proprietor, you may be able to step away from your business for a few days by rearranging and scheduling your workload. For those with regular working hours, such as in a store or restaurant, you will need to make sure your management team and employees are well-versed on all that must be done while you’re away. In either situation, I recommend having a backup who can help with emergencies if the need arises. For those who are independent contractors, this includes having a fellow contract you can refer people to for help.
Contact your bookkeeper
Make sure you tell your bookkeeper that you will be out of town. They should be the one to help with payroll and any other major financial situations. See if they can reschedule the time that your monthly financial statements are usually done. Either moving the deadline up to before you leave, or pushing it off until after you return. You will also want to prearrange that your staff will have plenty of operations money in case of an emergency and that someone on your management team is authorized to access that money.
This can be the hardest part! Set boundaries for you and your staff or clients. First, leave a list of who can be contacted in the event of an emergency and make it clear in what instances you want to be contacted immediately and what can probably wait.
Also, keep boundaries for yourself. Don’t check your phone every five minutes. You prepared your business and your staff well for your absence and trusting them to do their job will be an empowering experience for everyone.
Let me help!
As the saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Establishing a good relationship with a bookkeeper now will make sure your books are in order and make it even easier to take that time away. Give me a call and I’d love to discuss your situation.