Many small business owners enjoy their work, however, how much is too much? With a little bit of planning you can step away for a much needed break!
As an entrepreneur you love what you do, don't you? In fact, you are most likely a passion-driven individual who would never give up your business, right?
If this sounds like you, welcome to the crowd! In fact, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index findings indicate that forty-seven percent of small business owners surveyed say if they won $10 million in the lottery, they would continue in their business. Only nine percent would stop working altogether, while eight percent would opt for a combination of work, pursuing other areas of interest, and volunteering. Wow, you are a part of one devoted group!
But how much is too much? The problem is that too many entrepreneurs won't step away from their business at all— not even for a few days. Sure, you love what you do but is working to the extent of burnout going to make you a better person? And does it serve the business in the way you'd like to believe? Not really. In my experience as a coach the majority of business owners who work ten hour days and define a day off as being available for calls and emails (59 percent according to the same poll) do it for the control rather than out of necessity. But the truth is that with a little planning and a lot of courage most entrepreneurs can step away for a much needed break—and this is the perfect time of the year to make it happen!
As the trees begin to bud and flowers bloom it may be time to consider turning a new leaf yourself. Where will you be as schools close their doors and families flock to the sea shore for spring break? What's really stopping you from stepping away from work long enough to recharge your batteries and have a little fun? If you're convinced that the business can't run without you, or that you can't close your doors for a few days, it's probably just a sign that you are ill-prepared or disorganized. A solid and sustainable business model must be able to function and thrive if the business owner is not available three hundred and sixty five days a year. Perhaps it's time to take a look at what you can do differently so that you and your business can remain healthy and happy!
Use this checklist to build a business model that can sustain itself in your absence, at least for a brief period of time.
• Create documentation of workflow and processes so that employees are clear about what they do and how to handle most situations independently.
• Let your customers, vendors, and other key contacts know that you will be gone and for how long. If you have employees, provide numbers to your assistant or other backup people.
• No employees? Find someone who is willing to take emergency calls and properly “triage” them for you. A competent relative or friend who knows even a little about your business will be able to do this.
• Make a list of everything you need to get done to prepare for your time away. Begin well in advance and schedule time to remove tasks from your list each day.
• Look at production schedules well in advance and order any necessary supplies or goods ahead of time. This will allow you to get ahead of schedule (or stay on schedule) in preparation for your time away.
• Call key clients a week or two before your sabbatical and ask if there is anything they need prior to your departure. This is also a great way to drum up extra business!
• Make sure that important invoices and bills are paid, including liability insurance, rent, vendors, payroll, and utilities.
Go ahead, take the plunge! Preferably into a nice, warm ocean. But even if you take just one or two days away from your chaotic schedule you, your family, employees, and even your bottom line will thank you for it!