There are two sides to entrepreneurship you’ll see online – the ones who travel 24/7 and then the small business owners who don’t take vacations. Like, at all.
Of course, there’s a bit more to it than what you see on social media but it leaves you wondering, do business owners take vacations? How? What happens to their business? How long have they been in business to be able to step back if they are taking a vacation?
Let’s talk about it:
Most small business owners don’t take vacations or rather, enough vacation. In fact, 55% of small business owners take two weeks of vacation or less every year – 12% of small business owners don’t take vacation at all. But, just because they don’t it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.
I’m one of the first ones to stand up and speak about the benefits of taking a vacation or break from our businesses. So much so that rather than telling you it’s important, I’m going to say it’s vital to running a successful business (and this is coming from a previous six-figure business owner).
Even if you’re just setting aside time for a staycation, you have to set time aside to set away from your business – when I say it’s game-changing, I mean it.
One of the best parts of having a business is that you’re making the decisions – you’re able to build a business around the values that are important to you, you’re able to work with clients you’re aligned with, and, ideally, you’re able to live your life with a little more freedom.
The downside is this also means you’re responsible for it all too. The pressure is on you to “make it work” and to keep everything moving smoothly – from your financials to your marketing and everything in between. You’re the one wearing all the hats.
And this responsibility to your business is what’s keeping business owners from taking vacations during the year. We also tend to struggle with:
Financial stability or financial worries. Depending on what stage or season your business is in, it may be hard to step back for fear of negatively impacting your cash flow or the inability to afford a traditional vacation.
A lack of resources or ability to delegate. Only some businesses are equipped with the same resources or able to hire a team. It may be difficult to continue “business as usual” while you go on vacation – which could be a non-negotiable for you to take time off.
Inability to detach from your business. Technology is becoming more and more convenient each year, making it harder to unplug and separate yourself from your business no matter where you are.
Just because most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t take vacations doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With a little prep and flexibility, you can (and should) integrate regular vacays and breaks from your business.
Much of learning how to take a vacation is working on the prep – you want to invest in tools that are within your budget but allow you to do things automatically, such as Bloom.io for lead tracking and client management or Quickbooks for accounting.
You should also set aside the time to set up SOPs or “standard operating procedures” for common aspects of your business. This can include bringing on a new team member, welcoming clients to their dashboard, or even your marketing workflow.
It’s also important to be flexible in how you vacation. Sometimes we need that sporadic 48-hour trip to the beach when we have a sudden lull in client work. Rather than filling the time with hard-core grinding to hustle (yuck) in your business, take a break and rejuvenate.
Let 2024 be the year you get to enjoy being a business owner!