Vacation anxiety. For small-business owners, it’s a reality (and a real summertime bummer). In fact, more than 2/3 of small-business owners stress out while on vacation, according to a recent study by Intuit.
So, how will you cope when it comes time to relax?
Let’s look at some key tips and tricks to thwart vacation anxiety — while still keeping things running smoothly back at the home office.
1. Informing Your Public “Vacation” Means Actual Downtime
No shame in taking a break. Without a chance to recharge, you aren’t running your small business at your best. The key to preventing a mid-vacation slip-back — meaning that day you start office-ing from your beach-side bungalow — communication. “If people don’t know you’re on vacation, chances are they’ll keep on hounding you or feel slighted that you haven’t returned an e-mail or call,” Mike Pugh, of j2 Global, said. “Simply letting people know you’re out is one of the best ways to cut yourself some slack and enjoy your time off.”
2. Leave a Lieutenant in Your Place
Your employees are the people that you count on while you’re away. Make sure you pick the person (or people) that are going to be the face of your small business during your vacation. Give them the information they’ll need to work autonomously. Advise your other staff members of this individual’s new temporary authority. You may even prompt a long-term transformation at your business: the challenge of leading while the boss is away can be a stretch role that transforms a good employee into a great asset.
3. Alright, It’s OK to Office from Vacation (But Just a Little)
Set a morning schedule of 30 minutes on e-mail. Being clear about when and for how long you’re available is the key to keeping your work time in check. If you manage the expectations of your employees and clients, they’ll be less likely to try to wrestle you from your barbecue.
4. Your Phone is (Still) Your Lifeline
More than half of the small-business owners polled by Intuit said that keeping their cell phones on them allowed them to feel better, to know they could keep some connection to the office. So, sure, keep your phone around but get some help from back home on what calls to take and when. Mike Pugh of J2 Global suggests using cloud-based tools for tasks such as checking and sending documents as well as handling faxes.
But mainly: get the break you need. Go back refreshed.
Have tip about how to handle vacation anxiety as a small-business owner? Tell us about it in the comments section, and, on behalf of worrying owners everywhere, thanks!