As a small business owner, you’re tempted to do it all. It’s not uncommon to feel like the success or failure of your business rests squarely on your shoulders.
To that end, you may feel compelled to work every single day of the year, save for a few days off for special occasions and holidays. In fact, research suggests that fewer than half of all small business owners take time off from work. So if you work all year long, you’re in the majority.
Although not taking vacations is understandable, it’s unlikely that you’ll realize your long-term small business goals if you work yourself to death. You’ll burn out sooner or later.
Besides that, studies show that productivity dips after logging 50 hours in a single workweek. So if you’re routinely burning the midnight oil for an extended period of time, it’s safe to say you’re not putting your best foot forward. You may end up doing even more harm than good.
When your business is just starting, you may not be able to figure out how to take time off from work. But if you’ve been in business for a few years and you’re steadily generating revenue, you need to take a vacation eventually.
We all need time to recharge our batteries. In addition to resting and relaxing, taking time off also provides small business owners with a number of other benefits. Here are five of them:
You’ll be more productive when you come back.
Stepping away from work gives you the energy to produce at your full potential when you return from your vacation. You’ll get healthier and less stressed, making you more effective when you are back to the office.
It’s admirable that you love your small business so much that you want to serve your customers and grow your company every day. But you’re not a robot. You need downtime to be able to consistently provide the level of products and services your customers have grown to expect.
You’ll come up with new ideas.
Go to a new place and you’ll gain perspective that enables you to look at things from a different angle. While it’s best to avoid thinking about work and really try to clear your mind, that’s a lot easier said than done for the average small business owner.
When you’re away from the office, you’ll almost certainly come up with a few new ideas. Who knows? Maybe one of them will help your small business get to the next level.
You’ll become better at delegation.
To enjoy your vacation, you’ll probably need to tackle a bunch of work ahead of time. But unless you run a one-person shop and intend to close your business down when you’re out of town, you’ll need to assign responsibilities to your employees to make sure things flow smoothly when you’re not there to oversee them yourself.
As you plan for your vacation, you’ll figure out which things only you yourself are capable of doing. But you’ll also determine which tasks you normally do could be taken care of by someone else.
When you return and see that everything is in great shape, you may realize that certain tasks you took care of each week could be delegated to someone else—freeing up more of your time to focus on growing your small business into a large one.
You’ll learn more about your staff.
When you’re out of the office, you will designate someone to be in charge of the rest of your staff. Depending on the size of your company, you might delegate critical responsibilities to a number of employees.
Sure, you may find out that not everyone is capable of doing the tasks you assigned to them. More likely than not, however, you’ll discover that the employees you’ve entrusted with important responsibilities are fully capable of tackling them.
Maybe a promotion is in the cards, after all.
You’ll figure out the best way to take a vacation next time.
You might run into some slight hiccups when you take your first vacation as a small business owner. Maybe you’ll forget to take care of something yourself. Maybe you’ll forget to delegate something. Maybe you’ll find out that you should have taken care of a task you delegated.
Whatever the case may be, treat your first vacation as a learning process. You’ll learn what went wrong and what went right. And you can use that information to plan even better for your next vacation—ensuring smoother sailing.
Building a small business is hard work.
Achieving your goals starts with being able to fire on all cylinders.
Although you might be tempted to never step away from your small business, that approach is doomed to failure. By taking time off from work every now and again, you recharge your batteries and gain new perspective. When you return to your desk, you’ll be ready to take on the world. Your employees and your customers will appreciate it.