Want to take time off from your business but worried that it might be more stressful than relaxing? The truth is, the holiday season can be a great time for taking a break and sneaking in some much-needed R&R before another busy year begins.
In order to get some solid advice about how to let go, we asked a panel of 10 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
Q. What’s one tip you’d give a fellow business owner who wants to take some real time off before the new year?
Their best answers are below:
1. Do It
If your business can’t run without your presence for a week or two, then you have bigger issues at hand. With that being said, take some time to get refreshed, gain perspective, and return to work with a clear head and new ideas.
– Darrah Brustein, Finance Whiz Kids | Equitable Payments
2. Book Your Trip Now
If you want to guarantee your time off, then book your trip now. Put it on the calendar, and make the trip non-negotiable by booking with others. It’s inevitable that something will come up attempting to deter your plans. However, when we commit to others, there’s an accountability that doesn’t exist otherwise.
– Antonio Neves, THINQACTION
3. Automate Your Processes
Want to create a situation where you can leave for good amounts of time? Great! Automate your processes. I don’t just mean turning what is manually done into a digital program — although that helps as well. You need to alter the processes that you are involved in to function when you can’t be there. If your business falls apart with your absence, you need to rethink your strategy.
– Adam Callinan, BottleKeeper
4. Mirror Your Clients
Take time off when your clients take time off. For a lot of people, this is during Christmas or Thanksgiving because work typically slows for everyone. For most businesses — other then retail — November and December are generally slow periods. – Phil Chen, Givit
5. Leave Your Electronic Devices at Home
Take a brief, electronic-free vacation. Commit to avoiding the Internet, and only use your smartphone for phone calls. Arrange for someone back at the office to handle all responsibilities, and tell them to communicate with you only in extreme emergencies.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
6. Talk to Your Family First
I don’t consider spending time with my family at the holidays to be a true vacation — but it can be crucial to healthy family relationships. Before you plan your time off for this time of year, I’d suggest finding out what your family has planned and your obligations to those plans.
– Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting
7. Share the Wealth
Take the time you need, but before you do, make sure your employees know that you value their hard work as well. Encourage your team to strategically recharge, and make sure you’re providing the means for this.
– Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs
8. Implement a Good Leadership Structure
As executives, it’s our responsibility to structure our business, so we can enjoy some form of balance in our lives. This means having the right leadership structure in place beneath us, so we can take some time off without the whole thing falling apart. But, this only applies if your startup is in a good place! If it isn’t, then there’s no vacation or sleep for you until it is.
– Danny Boice, Speek
9. Do a Trial Run
Before I go on vacation, I do a trial run. I unplug for a “mini” vacation to test it out. I’ll immediately find out how well I delegated, who needed something from me and what came to a halt when I left. All these problems come to light through trial and error. Do a trial run, fix the issues, and then do the real thing. You’ll be able to more comfortably disconnect.
– Phil Dumontet, DASHED
10. Make Sure Your Clients Feel Supported
If you have daily interaction with your clients and customers, be sure to make them feel supported, and have a strong backup plan in place just in case. Disconnecting is valuable for your sanity, but it can be really scary for your clients who rely on you regularly. By ensuring that they feel supported and have direction on what to do while you’re out, you’ll be sure to come back to happy clients.
– Erin Blaskie, Erin Blaskie, Digital Strategist