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Kansas Small Business Development Center

Small Business Owners Need a Vacation Too

There is no doubt as a small business owner that it is hard to get away from work, no matter how successful the business is, or how much money you have in the bank. But there are advantages, and the scale of your break should match the comfort level for both you and your family. Those advantages included rekindled motivation, increased productivity, and a feeling of capability.

So when you do take off, how can you create both quality vacation time and not get an ulcer worrying about things back at the shop? Here are a few thoughts on how to get away and enjoy it.

1. You deserve a break and should not feel guilty about it.  The advantages of recharging your physical and mental batteries can’t be overstated. When you return to your business you’ll see things in a new light. Sure, there will be catching up, but you will also know who you can count on in your absence, and who might not be pulling their weight.

2. Taking a vacation shows you have faith in your people and that there is life beyond work.  Don’t call in every day to “manage” your business. Leave an “Out of Office” message for your emails and ask that you only be called in an emergency.  Empower employees to make decisions in your absence and use it as a development tool for training and rewards upon your return.

3. If absolutely needed to get you on the road and out the door, have a strategy for dealing with emails, calls, and necessary business decisions.  Do this by letting your family or co-travelers know you will take an hour in the morning or evening to check emails, calls, and address business needs.  This is not recommended, but if you have to, and you manage it, it’s better than no vacation at all. Just be warned that the ability to disconnect is what gives your mind the ability rejuvenate and have new thoughts.

Realistically,  your business should be able to last a week without you. If not, then it might be time to take a look at the operations and people who work for you.  Get away and enjoy the time you have off for the benefit of your family, employees, and customers.