Think you can’t possibly take vacation as an entrepreneur?  Think again!

Taking time off is critical for entrepreneurs, as it gives you time to recharge, reflect, and restore your vision for your business.  And it’s also a great opportunity to train your staff to be more self-sufficient.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you can take a stress-free vacation this summer.

  1. PREPARE YOURSELF: One of the hardest things about taking vacation is the work involved–the long hours before and after vacation, work that makes you wonder if it’s even worth it! Be sure to plan your vacation in advance and plan around customer patterns.  Are there days or weeks that are less busy?  Can you take time off after a big deadline?  Are there tasks that you can do in advance so that your return is less stressful?  I also always recommend setting your away message to start 1 day before you leave and end 1 day after you return to give yourself some breathing room.
  2. PREPARE YOUR STAFF: Share your plan to take time off well in advance and give your staff some of your responsibilities before you leave so that they can learn while you are still available.  Give them clear instructions regarding the tasks to be completed while you’re away.  Also share with them what tasks should wait until you return, and what issues would warrant that they call you while you’re away.   This will be a great opportunity for them to take more responsibility and with good preparation and support, they can shine!
  3. PREPARE YOUR CUSTOMERS: As a successful entrepreneur, you likely place a high value on customer service and make yourself available to your customers as much as possible.  Share with all of your customers well in advance that you’ll be taking vacation and give them clear instructions regarding whom to contact.  For customers with current projects, send a status update before you leave and connect with them when you return.  Thank them for their patience and share that taking time to rest and recharge will ultimately help you to do even better work for them!

Do you have other strategies that you’re using to take time off?

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