Want to Boost Your Business? Take a Vacation
If you think you’re too busy to take a vacation, you could be short-changing your company. In addition to reinvigorating you, a vacation can lead to an explosion of new ideas — indeed, one in five entrepreneurs say the very idea for their business came while they were on vacation.
According to Forbes vacations lead to higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits. Men and women who take vacations are less likely to have heart attacks, for example.
On top of that, a recent study found taking a vacation translates into workplace success. People who took fewer than 10 of their vacation days per year had a 34.6% likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus in three years time. In contrast, people who took more than 10 of their vacation days had a 65.4% chance of receiving a raise or bonus.
You can only assume that the boss gets similar success benefits from some R&R.
Leave or Staycation
Still, small business owners find it difficult to make time for a break. It makes sense to prioritize vacations so they’re an item on your to-do list. Or take smaller “staycations” where you don’t travel far, which saves time and money.
Holly Larson, a registered dietitian, made a pact with another small business owner friend that they would each earmark one day a quarter for a “staycation” and protect it with “the diligence of a mama bear.” She’s had spa days and slumber parties at her home with her fellow business owners, followed by a morning hike that left her refreshed when she returned to her business the next day.
Should You Unplug?
Some small business owners feel they unwind more easily if they unplug completely during a vacation . However, a majority remain connected to their office but try their best to stay as detached as possible.
“The best vacations and decompression getaways were the ones that I earmarked an amount of time each day to staying on top of my business,” says Jennifer A. Maguire, head of her own PR firm. “Working vacations, or at the very least checking email and voice messages twice each day, is an SBO smart habit I am committed to. Blowing off everything in the name of me equals coming home to missed opportunities and glitches which no SBO can afford.”
Trust Your Employees
Other keys to a successful SBO vacation are to create “what if” lists that guide employees on how to handle difficult problems; alert your customers and partners well in advance of your break; and limit how often employees can contact you.
Give them a set period they can call. Or tell them you won’t have your phone on you and they need to call your spouse’s number. They’ll hesitate to give you a ring for anything but a true emergency, and you’ll enjoy some well-deserved R&R while boosting your employees’ skills and confidence.