Running a small business can be a 24/7 job and taking a vacation may seem like an impossible dream for many entrepreneurs. In fact, a recent survey conducted by American Express Open revealed that less than half (46 percent) of small business owners said they plan on taking a vacation for themselves.
However, experts say while the idea of getting away for a few days or more can be overwhelming, it is important for your mental health and the health of your business in the long term.
In a recent blog post on FindLaw.com, attorney Jennifer Halford listed several reasons why every small business owner should make it a point to get away every once in a while. Not surprisingly, the number one reason is that taking a vacation allows individuals to relax and unwind. This relates to entrepreneurs because if they become overworked and irritated, it could cause a ripple effect and affect their employees, their customers and their bottom line.
Additionally, getting away allows entrepreneurs to regroup and reassess their goals. Halford recommends taking some time during the last day of any vacation to addressing some business issues.
"Too often the daily demands of your business can keep you from reflecting and setting goals," Halford wrote. "Update or revisit your business plan. This day will also help you transition back into the business world after your well-deserved time away."
She also says vacations are important to the long-term health of the business since they force you to put someone else in charge.
"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."
While the reasons to take a vacation are valid, many owners simply don't know how to make one a reality without disrupting business. According to eReceptionist, it's important to plan a get-away in advance and to take your business cycle into account. For instance, the owner of a seasonal business may want to wait for their "off-season" to take a break.
Another piece of small business advice is plan a time each day to check in with work, whether it is returning phone calls, reading emails or touching base with the team. After all, keeping up-to-date while on vacation may be exactly what many owners need in order to be able to actually enjoy their time off!