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Can You Enjoy a Vacation When You’re a Small Business Owner?

It’s summer vacation time and people all over the northern hemisphere become travelers. How about you, the small business owner? Can you take a vacation away from the business?

Technology has come a long way, and you can be connected from almost everywhere. But being so closely connected means you don’t enjoy a vacation much. You are working, looking at the beach, instead of swimming in the water. A vacation is meant to let your brain rest and recharge, doesn’t it?

Here’s ann OnDeck small business survey that tells you what other small business owners think:

Only 57% of them will take a vacation. Almost half will give it up all together.

Out of those:

  • 9% said they will take a full 2 week vacation.
  • 61% Will take one week
  • 26% will take just a few days

The problem is not only can you afford to take a vacation. The question becomes can you enjoy a vacation when you are a small business owner?

Here are some tips to make a small business owner’s vacation more enjoyable:

  • Set ground rules for your employees and some rules for yourself.
  • Prepare customers that usually deal straight with you about your pending vacation.
  • Choose a person to step in for you and be your main source of communication. Preferably someone who know the business inside out and someone you can trust.
  • Set boundaries and communicate your expectations. What issues you need to be involved in, and what can be done without your involvement. You can run some past cases to make it more realistic.
  • Create a schedule of contacts before you leave, taking into account the difference in time zones.
  • Create a system for getting emergency calls to you outside the contact time. It might be the hotel you stay in, or a friend’s contact. Tell them you will not be looking at your phone all the time.
  • Dedicate one day a week for work. That day you excuse yourself from your family or friends and go over things you need to go over. Of course, your contact schedule should fall on this day. Not all of us know how to relax, and the thought that if we do relax something terrible will happen to the business is a buzz kill. Knowing that one full day is dedicated to work may make the others more fun.
  • If you feel you need to be in the loop, dedicate an hour in the day to read emails. It’s not fun being glued to your phone and looking at it every time an email comes in. Try to leave it behind and relax.

Running a small business while on vacation has its challenges, and it is one of the many things an owner has to face. But with a little preparation, your next vacation can be what you intended it to be.

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