One of the benefits of owning a small business is the ability to create your schedule. The flip side is finding time to actually take time off. Whether you are planning a vacation or a staycation--time away from your small business can feel like starting a 2000 piece puzzle. Spring Break is rapidly approaching so let's dive into 7 steps that will help you enjoy time away unplugged.
7 Step Process for Taking Vacation as a Small Business Owner
Create Delegation Checklist
Schedule and Complete Necessary Training
Establish Escalation Plan
Communicate Dates to Clients
Determine Process for Emergencies
Set Boundaries for YOURSELF
In a perfect world, small business owners may find it ideal to schedule time off during the “slow” season. This may or not apply to your line of business. The truth is with proper planning you should be able to take time off when you want. To do so, plan ahead. Look at your calendar a few months out. Move meetings, reschedule launch dates and ensure you have coverage.
Take a look at your daily, weekly and monthly duties. Determine which of those tasks NEED to be done by you and which ones can be delegated to a team member. Once you have identified the list of tasks that will be delegated, make a checklist of the task and include directions on how to complete each task.
If you are assigning items that are new to your team member(s) make sure you schedule a thorough training session. Give plenty of time before you depart for them to complete (or attempt) each item so if they have any questions or get stuck you are there to help.
Establish a clear escalation plan. This is for internal resources and clients. A simple email that defines who, how and when to contact your out of office person should do the trick! Make sure to include response time in case it differs from the norm.
Schedule a time to check in with your clients to let them know you will be out. A warm heads up lends to a better client experience. During this meeting, you can also discuss upcoming work to decide what is a priority and what can be shifted around.
The goal is to step away and no one even notice you are gone. However, things happen… water leaks, internet issues or property damage. Leave a list of who to contact if something like this occur--landlord, insurance agent. You may not be completely free from being involved, but at least you would be excused from the initial leg work.
Last, but certainly not least… set boundaries for yourself! What is the point of taking a vacation if you are going to be chained to your computer or phone? Create healthy boundaries and STICK TO THEM! An example could be check emails once per day or check in with staff at lunch.
I get it! Some of these steps are easier said than done. Your schedule is already tight and making room to create one more document or squeeze in one more meeting may feel impossible! If that is the case, sounds like a great time to start outsourcing. Whether you have recurring tasks or one time projects. Creative PlanHer is here to support! We offer a variety of packages and do not shy away from customizing what works best for you. Click here to schedule a FREE consult today!