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Tips for Relaxing on Vacation as a Small Business Entrepreneur

If you’re a small business entrepreneur, chances are you’re not disconnecting from work as much as you should.

According to Inc. columnist David Finkel, the sweet spot for maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a minimum of four weeks’ vacation time. This way, you can allow yourself to “recoup and regroup” at least every quarter and stay successful.

Can you see yourself taking that much time to relax – and enjoying it?

If you can’t, you’re not alone. Statistics from just a few years ago indicate only 57% of you planned any time off from your work at all. Instead, you could have been pulling a 72-hour work week, leaving nothing but three hours a day for eating, errands, and exercise. This kind of work-heavy schedule can seriously hinder your ability to think clearly, balance burnout, manage your workload as an entrepreneur, and grow your business.

Work/Life Balance as a Successful Entrepreneur

Luckily, all this could be evolving (check out Episode 11 of my podcast, Changing The Balance Of Work-Life Harmony).

According to a new study, more small business owners (SBOs) are recognizing the need to take time away from work:

  • 94% now say work-life balance is important to keep people happy.
  • 94% now say regular time off helps raise motivation levels and nurtures a motivated staff.
  • 93% now say time away from work helps improve productivity.
  • 83% now say they encourage the use of vacation days for all their staff.

What Time Away Can Do For You

  1. You will rest your mind.

Without regular breaks, the constant challenge-solving of your entrepreneurial mind will cause you to grow weary and weak. You’ll find it more difficult to come up with great ways to take your business to the next level and motivate your team to get it done. You want your vision to remain clear.

  1. You will recharge your body.

Working all the time will take a physical toll on you. During a vacation, you can get physical instead. Take walks, stretch those muscles, do your favorite exercise and sport. You’ll also be able to rest, relax, and reset your biological clock.

  1. You will live in the present moment.

Gratitude is an attitude that only gets stronger in the present moment. Instead of always pushing forward and putting out fires, you can step back. Reflecting on and appreciating all that your life has given you up to now helps you plan future success.

  1. You will give your team a chance to show their stuff.

When you regularly step away from the business, you give others the opportunity to step up, take ownership, and shine. You’ll not only show trust in them, your operation, and company culture, but you’ll also have a way to identify areas that work well or need improvement.

Still, too many of us who run a business fall short on planning a great vacation.

Researchers have found that 85% of small business entrepreneurs admit to working while on vacation. Sixty percent of them are proactively checking in every day they’re away.

I’m one of the 60 percent. When I first started 11outof11, vacationing was easier for me. It was simple to shut down and turn off everything work-related for a whole week. But as my business grew, that mindset got harder and harder to achieve.

So my husband and I made a deal. Now, we check email and work-related tasks for just one hour every morning during vacation. It gives us a chance to respond to anything urgent before we head into a day of relaxation or fun.

Simply checking in each day also alleviates that sense of dread that could build up at the thought of email and work-related things piling up and dampening our vacation vibe. So we found a plan that works for us.

Ways to Vacation That Could Work For You

Here are a few tips to help get you out the office door more often and minimize the time you spend working while away.

Set Your Own Time for Work on Vacation

Create a plan to deal with work-related activities during your time off. Set a time of day and a time limit for checking in on your business, as we did. This way, you can avoid responding to every call or email no matter when you receive it. Try not to forward your business line to your cell phone. Delay receiving important paperwork by email or fax or get it done before you leave.

Take Bleisure Trips

Bleisure refers to travel that combines business and leisure activities. According to Forbes, almost 10% of business trips can be categorized as “bleisure” trips – a practice that nearly 60% of businesses support. In 2022, 89% of people plan to add personal vacation time to their business travel, a new trend that’s creating a new type of traveler and changing the hospitality industry. Plus, it’s giving hard-working entrepreneurs a logical way to address work/life balance.

Prepare in Advance

Before you leave on vacation, alert your team and your clients of your plans. Give them a way to get work done in advance as well as a detailed checklist for getting things done while you’re away. Assign an alternate contact for your clients. Avoid scheduling any new product or service launches during your vacation. Prepare yourself as well – remember to pack hard copies of phone lists and project paperwork in case your devices -or a wi-fi connection- aren’t available for some reason during your vacation.

Upskill Your Team

Things will happen while you’re vacationing. So make sure your team knows what to do in your absence. Give them an outline of how to handle problems and emergencies. Include things like:

What to do if computers don’t work or the Internet isn’t connecting or they can’t conduct video conferences.

  • Who to call if your website goes down.
  • What to do if they need building maintenance.
  • How to get in touch with you in an emergency.
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About Angela Pointon

Angela Pointon is President of 11outof11, Philadelphia's top content marketing and award-winning inbound agency at your service. If you need help with your marketing strategy and activities, even while on vacation, connect with us. Request a complimentary call with an 11outof11 expert. Contact us to learn more.

Topics: Marketing