“I haven’t had a vacation in years.”, is a sentence I’ve heard many clients and potential clients state throughout the years I’ve been in business. As a small business owner myself, I understand how difficult it can be, especially if you are a one-person operation, to take time off. You feel guilty that you’re thinking of taking time away from you customers or clients, you worry you will miss a sale or deal while away, and the thought of what would pile up on your desk and in your in-box makes you lose sleep. It is no wonder that I’ve heard the opening phase so often.
But I’ve also found that once one of those clients takes some time off, they come back grateful they did it.
Here are 5 Reasons to take time off.
- RECHARGE: We all need time to recharge our batteries. Going years without a vacation can do more harm than good for you and your business. You can start to resent the business, lose perspective and make bad or at least not the best decisions, have a reduction in quality of goods or services, and could even lead to health issues. Stepping away often leads to coming back with renewed energy and enthusiasm for our business.
- REFOCUS: By stepping away for a little while, you give yourself time to reflect on what you are doing and what you want to change. Being in it day after day, month after month, year after year, with no break we can lose sight of our vision and make wrong turns.
- INSPIRATION: You often hear how great ideas come in the shower or at 3 am. That is because our brains are resting at those times. We aren’t multi-tasking or thinking ahead 4 steps. We are just “being”. The same thing can happen on vacation, new inspiration can hit while sitting on the beach, or hiking, or exploring a new city, or standing in line for the next ride. Your brain has been freed up to make those new connections.
- RECONNECT: Taking time away from your business will allow you to reconnect with your loved ones. This will help you strengthen and nurture the most important relationships you have. And having that support, makes getting through the stressful times a lot easier.
- DISCOVER: The preparation for and the actual time off can help you discover tasks that can be automated and others that can be delegated, so that you no longer have to DO IT ALL. These discoveries can help make the day to day running of your business more efficient and help you free up some of your time to implement the new ideas you came up with on vacation.
Taking time away, especially if it has been years, can be a scary step. There are a few ways to help you get ready to make that step.
- Choose a slower time of year. We all have times of the year when we seem to be busier than others. Taking time off when it is slower, can help alleviate some of the worry over missing a client’s request.
- Take fewer days more often. Instead of booking a 10-day cruise right off the bat, start with a 4-day weekend instead.
- Prep your clients and customers. I know of a family owned restaurant that closes for two-weeks over the 4th of July holiday. The signs go up in late May so that all their customers know when they are closed and when they’ll be back. They have been doing this for over 10 years. They said the first year was the scariest, after that it got easier. And now their customers look forward to their re-opening, not just for the food, but to hear about the current year’s vacation.
Taking care of yourself is a vital part to having a successful business. So, if you are one of those business owners who hasn’t taken time off in a long while, try to fit in a few long weekends, this year. Your business will be better for it.
If you need support with your accounting and bookkeeping the experts at Fournier Accounting and Bookkeeping Services are here to help. We serve small businesses throughout New Hampshire and the U.S. Contact us today!