To some, small business ownership is synonymous with freedom: Answer to no one! Choose your hours! Leave the office whenever you feel like it!
In reality, being an entrepreneur sometimes involves having less freedom than your corporate counterparts. While friends are enjoying paid holidays and booking the two-week trip to the beach, you’re worrying about all that could go wrong if you stepped away from your business even for a few days. Being away could mean returning to lost sales, unfulfilled orders, upset clients, and more work than you can handle.
Many small business owners decide that the benefits of taking a vacation aren’t worth the costs. When small business lender OnDeck surveyed small business owners about summer vacation plans, 43 percent of respondents said they didn’t plan to take one. And most owners who physically leave the office are still there, mentally: Only 15 percent said they disconnect entirely while on vacation.
But all small business owners deserve a vacation—and need one for their health, the health of their families, and even the health of their businesses. We rounded up these five articles that remind us how important vacations are and how small business owners can plan and prepare for time off.
In his first three years as co-founder of Infusionsoft by Keap, Clate Mask didn’t take a vacation: at first because he couldn’t afford the cost and later because he couldn’t afford the time away. Now, as CEO of a company with more than 600 employees and 120,000 users, Mask doesn’t exactly have less to worry about—but he does take vacations with his family.
In this post, Mask explains how and why small business owners should make vacations a priority.
For an employee, getting ready for vacation might mean finishing up the week and typing up the out-of-office reply. For a small business owner, vacation prep is work in itself.
Small Business Trends explains 13 steps owners should take before leaving the premises, like designating an authority figure, documenting processes, and talking your team through solutions to potential problems.
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Taking a Vacation [Infographic] (via @QuickBooks)
You’re reading this because you don’t have much time to take a vacation, so we suspect you also don’t have much time to read about taking vacations.
Enter this infographic from QuickBooks, which explores statistics about small business owners, reasons you need a break and quick tips for taking a trip.
If you own a small business and are therefore in charge of important things like finances and employees’ livelihoods, it’s probably not advisable to say, “Screw it all, I’m on vacation!” and be completely unreachable for a week.
This article in the Harvard Business Review explores how to disconnect in a way that respects both your desire to relax and you colleagues’ needs to keep in touch (think a check-in schedule and a vacation-specific email address for important messages).
Small business owners are reluctant to take time off because their to-do lists are never-ending.
But you know what helps people get more work done? Taking time off. We wouldn’t question whether we needed a time-out from activity after a long run, but we don’t apply the same logic to our mental workouts—and we should. This story in Entrepreneur explains the physiology and psychology of stepping away from work, and how our brain—just like our muscles—need to rest in order for us to reach peak performance levels.