Guest post by Jennifer K. Halford, Esq.
It is summertime. It is time to travel and for family vacations. And time to take a break from the stress of your business.
Yet, I find that most small business owners believe that they cannot take a vacation. They think they are too busy or that the business will fall apart in their absence. Or they think that they cannot afford a vacation or to take time off.
But you need to take a vacation. You need to get out of town for a few days. Or plan to stay home and visit with family and friends if you cannot afford to travel. Doing so is essential to the success of your business.
Here are five reasons why every business owner needs to take a vacation:
1. You need it: If you are anything like the small business owners I know, you are overworked. And employers can get cranky when they are overworked. This can lead to disgruntled employees and a decrease in employee morale.
2. You need to lead by example: You want your employees to come to work on time and to work hard all day. And most employers want their employees to have a good work-life balance so they are more productive. How can ask this of your employees if you are too tired and overworked to model this behavior?
3. You need to be able to be gone: You should have a second in command that you trust to run your business in your absence. If you don't, then you need to get one now.
You should trust this employee to keep your business productive and to provide you with daily updates while you are away. Otherwise, what happens if there is a family emergency or you become incapacitated in the future?
Business owners fail to think about what will happen if they are unexpectedly forced to be away from their business. Taking a vacation gives you a chance to test the capabilities of your second in command.
Plus, your ability to be away from the business and still have it be productive will make the business more valuable to potential buyers if you intend to sell in the future.
4. Your business needs it: Issues with employees or practices may become apparent in your absence. This will allow you to fix issues you did not know existed. And ultimately this will make your business more valuable and efficient.
5. You need to regroup: Save the last day of your vacation for your business. Too often the daily demands of your business can keep you from reflecting and setting goals. Update or revisit your business plan. This day will also help you transition back into the business world after your well-deserved time away.
Jennifer K. Halford is an attorney whose practice focuses on business law and estate planning. She is also a professor at California State University, Chico, where she teaches Entrepreneurial Law.