Best of the Janes: Taking Vacations

While every business owner will have her own considerations to make when it comes to taking vacation, certain elements of planning a vacation come into play for all business owners, no matter what their type.

Individual business owners must consider their individual needs and desires when planning for vacation. Those needs and desires vary,Guest Posting depending on finances, habits, mindsets and characteristics. However, several considerations should be common to all types of business owners, regardless of situation. This article outlines those considerations and provides tips for handling them thoroughly before a vacation, so that the time away truly provides rest and relaxation.

Plan, plan, plan. From scheduling a vacation or retreat for a company’s “quiet” season, to creating a contingency plan if contact from a team member is absolutely critical, entrepreneurs will find that they can more easily enjoy themselves if they have carefully planned every aspect of rest and relaxation as it relates to their business.
ü Decide on availability. If availability is not an option, provide team members with written instructions about exactly what to do during the vacation, and delegate decision-making authority to a specific person. Always provide emergency contact information, just in case. For partial availability, provide contact information only to a limited number of team members, and then check messages or e-mails periodically. Hint: being totally available by cell phone for an entire vacation not only takes away from the ability to relax, but it also takes attention away from traveling companions. Make a vacation a true vacation, and if it’s impossible to keep the phone off all the time, just check it a couple of times per day.

ü If bills are due during a vacation, go online and schedule them to be paid when they’re due. Or, get them ready for mailing and ask a team member to send them on the appropriate day. Similarly, invoices can be made out ahead of time and then sent out on schedule.

ü If winter is the busiest time of year for a business, reduce stress by planning the vacation for the summer. Similarly, if an entrepreneur is expecting a huge shipment of inventory and knows she’ll need to unpack it and get it on the shelves right away, she should arrange to return from her vacation before the shipment arrives or to leave for the vacation well after she’s had the time she needs to get it settled in. Working around such obstacles will allow the entrepreneur to truly relax while she is on vacation.

ü If possible, delay the start of a new project until a few days after returning from a vacation. This provides time to check missed e-mails or phone messages. If that’s not possible, consider making all the preparations before leaving so it is possible to begin immediately upon returning. Ask a team member to help return calls or e-mails so it’s possible to devote more time to the project right away.

Take a real vacation. It may sound obvious, but many business owners find it difficult to remove themselves from their work, even for a short time. However, an entrepreneur will function at her best when she is revitalized and energized. Here are some tips for getting the most out of vacationing:
ü Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas that arise during vacation. Once they’re written down, put the notebook away for future use. Use this technique to temporarily “put away” the new ideas without worrying about forgetting them. This way, it’s possible to truly rest – and even if that rest provides excellent brainstorming opportunities, it’s possible to put them away until the vacation is over.

ü Retain a positive mindset when thinking about leaving the business behind. Rather than worrying about whether the team can handle things, think of this as an opportunity for them to take responsibility. Rather than worrying about customers’ reactions to the vacation, consider that they’ll admire the strong and capable team taking care of them during the vacation. Notify customers of the upcoming vacation and take care of any concerns before departing.

ü As mentioned above, limit availability. Spend time reconnecting with traveling companions, enjoying the new scenery, and recharging. Spending an entire vacation checking e-mail and answering the phone does not allow for true rest and relaxation – and it does not reenergize anyone.

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