By Lucy Reed
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Both large and small businesses rely on the people in charge to keep operations running smoothly. When you own your own business, you may feel like things will spiral out of control if you leave even for a day. While stepping out of the office for an extended amount of time is stressful, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of taking a vacation. Of course, people with their own businesses turn their out-of-office responders on all the time, so there have to be ways you can do it.
It’s important to take breaks and step away from work in order to invest time for your family and children. Psychology Today points out that vacations are beneficial both to your physical and mental health. Stress reduction is good for your heart health and improves your sleep. They give you a great opportunity to bond with the ones you love. Furthermore, vacations make you more productive when you finally get back to the office.
If you want to reap all the benefits of going on vacation, but you stress out about leaving your business behind, fret no more. With the following tips from SignalHarmony, you can have your break and come back to your business still intact.
Work Hard, Get Ahead
Sure, “Work Hard, Get Ahead” is a great motto for life—but it’s also the best way to plan for your vacation. In the weeks leading up to your trip, get as much done as soon as possible. Don’t just get your own stuff done; lend a hand and help your coworkers complete their tasks. Lightening their load now will make it easier for them to complete the essential daily operations while you are gone. Plus, working extra hard now makes it feel like you’ve really earned your vacation by the time it starts!
If your job services clients, let them know ahead of time that you will be on vacation and the dates you will not be responding. Ask if there is anything you can do for them in the meantime, and also provide contact information for a key staff member or two they can reach if they need something while you’re gone. Clients understand that everyone needs time off and will appreciate the heads up.
Upgrade to Automation
If your business doesn’t already have an online or electronic payment system to handle your transactions, upgrade to one before your trip. This type of payment system automates payments, and the latest tools also have the ability to reach a new audience, improve purchasing efficiency, and increase your payment security. Having all that in place before your vacation will certainly ease your mind.
Document Standard Operating Procedures
Your business’s standard operating procedures should be the things your employees turn to before they ask you a question. Before you go on vacation, update your SOPs and fill in any minute details you notice missing. Even the smallest thing can help out in certain situations. Once your SOPs are updated, re-release them to your team and remind them that these helpful references should be the first thing they turn to in case they hit an operational bump in the road.
Have a Full Staff
Some of the anxiety of taking time off and being away from the office may stem from not being fully staffed. Be sure you take an honest assessment of your hiring needs as far before taking vacation as possible so that you’ll have plenty of time to recruit and train. Even if you plan ahead and have staffed up to your satisfaction, managing new-in-office staff can present a challenge to those shouldering the management load while you’re on vacation. One key to lessening the burden is to have tools available, like a business process map, to enable new staff to find the proper answers to their questions without increasing work for others.
Designate Someone in Charge
When you have your own business, it feels like your baby. A lot of business owners convince themselves that no one else can care for it quite as they can. While there may be some truth to that, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a team member on staff who is eager to show you their leadership skills. Designating someone in charge that people can turn to while you are out of the office is a great way to evaluate employees and how they handle responsibility. Management-Issues.com notes that it also gives the rest of the team a sense of security knowing there is at least one other figurehead they can turn to.
Going on vacation and spending time with your family is important. But when you own your own business, the stress of leaving it behind can prevent you from enjoying your time off. Have your vacation and enjoy it by preparing your business for your departure. Work extra in the weeks leading up to your time off, notify clients, automate where you can, and document your standard operating procedures. It also helps to designate a person in charge, if only to provide a sense of security for employees.
This article was brought to you by SignalHarmony, a business consulting firm focusing on business formation, website development, and social media optimization for new and existing businesses. For more information about our services, contact us today!