Getting back into the work routine can be difficult for anyone after a holiday weekend or vacation, but it can be especially difficult if you are a small business or franchise owner. Many business owners feel as if it is too difficult and so they choose not to take vacation at all, or even sick days, in an effort to avoid the imminent pile-up of tasks and responsibilities that would accrue in their absence. However, you are likely doing yourself, and your customers, a disservice by not treating yourself to some rest and relaxation every once in a while, or taking the time off when you are legitimately ill in order to feel better. Unfortunately, you cannot necessarily plan when you will get sick and prepare for it in advance. As difficult as it may be, you will just have to try and accept the fact that everyone, including you, gets sick sometimes, no matter how much you try to prevent it and the day’s tasks and responsibilities will have to wait until you feel better. Your customers and employees will understand if you have to stay home due to illness and they may even be grateful that you didn’t bring it to work with you.
Unlike sick days, taking a vacation is something that can be planned for well in advance and can be used to your advantage. There are likely better times than others for business owners to take a vacation, depending on the business, but not taking time off altogether, even for a short period, can have detrimental effects on both your business and personal life such as becoming burned out with operating the business, stifled creativity, and poor communication because of stress. Taking the time to get away with family and/or friends gives you an opportunity to recharge your batteries and can lead to increased productivity which ultimately benefits your customers and your business. Next time you are debating whether or not you can afford to leave your business for some R&R, implement the following strategies to help you plan ahead and feel comfortable about taking time off:
- Prepare in advance by completing as much as you can before you leave.
- Communicate effectively to your customers and employees that you will be out of the office and for how long you will be gone.
- Outline for your employees and customers the circumstances for which you wish to be contacted regarding work matters and what they should do in the event of an urgent situation.
- Hire employees you can trust, train them adequately so that they can get the job done, and communicate your expectations of them and for the business while you are out of the office.
For many small business and franchise owners, taking a vacation for any amount of time can seem like an impossible task, but with a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy some time to relax and recharge, and your business can run smoothly too.