When you own a small business, taking time off isn?t as simple as merely clocking out or giving your employees a heads up about when you will be gone. You make the executive decisions about your business, and without you around, you need to make sure that your business can keep operating. This pressure leads many business owners to delay or even negate going on vacation, as they fear that the company can?t survive without them.
If you?re a business owner, your company is probably your top priority. However, no vacations and constant work can lead to emotional and physical health problems. Taking some time to recharge can give you the chance to come back fresh to the business with new energy, so you can think more clearly about your decisions. Here are five planning tips to help you make the most of your vacation time this summer, without stressing about your company throughout.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
Planning your vacation isn?t just about when you can take time off, but when your employees can as well. Is it best to stagger your time off or all take it at the same time? If you take it at the same time, how long do you close the business for? You need to have a meeting with your employees to understand what sort of vacation system will work best for you, them and your business. Talk to all of them about what they are looking for, and then plan it all out on the calendar. A visual reminder will help with any miscommunications in the future.
Plan in Advance
There are two reasons to plan your trip in advance. One of them is the most obvious, that it gives your business more time to plan around it and schedule backup. The less obvious reason is that many business owners, as they get closer to their vacation, think up various reasons why they couldn?t possibly leave right now, so they put it off and end up never going. Book all of your vacation plans in advance so that when vacation times rolls around, you don?t have a choice. Not to mention, it will likely be cheaper for you.
Don?t Skip Accounting for PTO
Once you?ve decided how vacations are going to go, you need to figure out your accounting policy about paid vacations and holidays. Paid vacations and paid holidays are fringe benefits that employees earn by working throughout the year, and you incur these expenses and the liability. A good way to go is record these holidays and vacations as an expense and liability, and there are other ways to account for Paid Time Off as well.
Create a Safety Net
While it is important to go on vacation, the worries that you have about your business while you?re gone are valid, so address them. Let your clients know when you will be unavailable or when the business will close (depending on your plan) well in advance. This gives them time to adjust accordingly.
To go the extra mile, you should also schedule backup services or at the very least give them the contact information of other employees that can help them out if there is any pressing matter that needs tending. The clients will appreciate you going out of your way to make sure they are taken care of, and you can rest easier knowing there?s a back up plan in place.
This is often a difficult choice to make when on vacation: Do you stay in contact, or go off the grid? There are advantages to both approaches. Staying in contact by email for instance can give you peace of mind, as if there are any huge problems you can help solve them. However, there is something to be said for completely letting yourself relax, as long as there are backup measures in place of course.
As a business owner, it is certainly important that you make sure your business is running smoothly. It’s also just as important to take some time for yourself. A stressful lifestyle and constant work can have some real life emotional and even physical consequences. Make sure you?re taking care of yourself, and your business, by making some time for yourself this summer season.
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