If you’re a small business owner, you’ll know all the time and effort that goes into building a profitable enterprise. And because this business is your baby, you probably wish there was even more time in each day because there’s just too much you’d like to get done. So while you’d love to give yourself a break, the idea of a taking your eyes off your business even for a few days seems close to impossible.
The truth is, it’s extremely important that you give yourself an adequate amount of time to properly decompress and unwind from your work. If you don’t, you run the risk of burning out, falling ill or even worse, just losing the interest and motivation you had in the first place when you started out.
With some discipline, time management and a little help from technology, you’ll find there’s much more to gain from a vacation than just shopping or sporting nice tan. Here’s how you do it.
Plan early and commit
Every business has its peaks and dips and now that you’ve run your business for a while, you should have a handle on when those periods are. So plan a break during the lull period and inform your staff, vendors and clients that you’ll be away. The earlier you tell them, the more time everyone (including you) has to make the necessary arrangements to get through your time out of the office. Also, this helps you to commit to the dates seeing that all parties are on board and planning their schedules around yours.
The vacation work shift
What you’re aiming to do is take at least a week and a half off, not just a long weekend, to give yourself enough time to wind down and chill out. This means no matter how prepared everyone was for you being away, there’s bound to be something that’ll crop up which will require your attention. So decide on a specific time where you’ll be able to look into things and let the team know that that’s when to check in with you. We’d suggest keeping this to just one hour each day (maybe just before lunch or around 4pm) because that’s about the amount of time you’ll need to make a few approvals, get an idea of the status of ongoing projects and maybe make a quick call to a valued client (only if necessary).
Tech it overseas
To maintain that one-hour time discipline during your vacation, you need to be efficient with those 60 minutes. Fortunately, cloud-based apps and software for small companies are effective in helping you manage as well as keep track of your business, even while you’re on a holiday. QuickBooks Online, for example, not only gives you an overview of your business sales and revenue at a glance, but also lets you send out that invoice you might have missed before you departed, right from the mobile phone app.
Let go and observe
While many small business owners dream of the day that their business can run profitably without much of their involvement, it can be difficult for them to let go of the reins. A vacation is also a great opportunity to see how your team runs the show without you (for a short period of time) so try as much as possible not to get too involved outside that designated one hour. You’ll be able to identify gaps in the business structure that you might have overlooked when you were down in the trenches with them. Plus, the time away will let you identify staff who show initiative and drive in their work so you know who to take care of in your company. These observations will help you better build and structure your business for success moving forward.
Break-time business development
Because you’re a business owner, it’s understandable how you’ll always be thinking about ways to improve, innovate and streamline your company. Taking a break away from your daily regimen in a destination outside Singapore will also help provide refreshing new perspectives with the different places you visit and people you meet. You’ll be surprised at just how much inspiration you’ll be able to draw from other small businesses and entrepreneurs in a different country, perhaps even in a totally different industry. This inevitably will lead to a ton of new ideas that you can take home with you and one of them might just be what takes your business to a whole new level.