Running a small business does not mean having to sacrifice your vacation time in order to run a company efficiently. Many small business owners come up with common excuses such as "not being able to afford it" or "the business can't run without my guidance" but, in all actuality, it may be a good idea to temporarily take a step back from the business once in a while and use the time to relax; allowing oneself to unwind gives busy business owners a chance to think creatively. In a previous blog post, we discussed how important it was to maintain a positive work culture as well as how an optimistic and constructive attitude can spread throughout the company itself; if the owner is in a good mood, or perhaps stressed, grouchy and over-worked, the employees will be able to feel this, and it may affect how they approach their job too.
For many small business owners, it may prove difficult to get away, especially as many companies are seeing signs of a recovering economy. These entrepreneurs do not want to leave when they see their businesses gaining momentum, but even the busiest business owners deserve a rest sometimes.
Give employees the opportunity to show that they have what it takes to manage your business. Going on vacation means that someone will have to take over the owner's responsibilities, which will naturally require a significant amount of trust. It is important to groom an employee as a successor, and a vacation is the perfect opportunity to test whether an employee can handle the challenge. Of course there may be situations that arise that the employee will not be able to handle without the owner, but that just means there will have to be a few small catch-up duties when the owner returns to work.
Before leaving, although it sounds a little clichéd, imagine what's the worst that could happen. Set up a contingency plan with clear guidelines that employees should follow if something bad happens while you are away. This will make employees feel more secure and confident about the owner's departure, as well as giving the vacationer a plan of what to address when they return. With this in mind, it is up to the owner to completely unplug from work-related emails and phone calls, since there is no point in going on vacation if they are tempted to check up on what's happening while they are absent from the day-to-day machinations of the business.
Use the vacation as a learning experience. How did the company do while you were gone? Were sales affected while you were away? Were there any metaphorical fires that needed to be put out, or was everything easily handled by the employee you left in charge? A vacation is a great way to see if your employees are capable of carrying out their jobs without the owner present. Many owners assume that sales are always better whenever they are there and, if this is really the case, create steps for the sales department that could better encourage new sales prospects the next time a vacation is in order.
At PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES®, we know the importance of having a small business owner take time to step back in order to improve their mental health and well being, as well as improving the company's overall state-of-mind.
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