Concept of time off on bright yellow background including vacation hat, airplane, sunglasses shells and a globe

Recharge Your Batteries: Why Time Off is Essential for Small Business Success

As a small business owner, you understand the constant pressure to work “in” your business most days, if not every day. You likely work long hours, have endless to-do lists, and the weight of your company’s success can feel heavy. But what if taking time off is exactly what you need to support your well-being AND your company’s success and longevity? 

The Benefits of Stepping Back

Stepping away this summer to refresh can have significant benefits for both you and your business. The constant pressure of running a business takes a toll. The stress of business ownership, along with overworking, can lead to irritability, resentment, burnout, and increased errors. 

By committing to take time off, you allow yourself to rest and recharge mentally and physically. This rejuvenation translates to improved focus, renewed energy, and a more positive outlook. This sets the stage for improved productivity and mental clarity upon your return.

It’s important to also encourage and support your team in being able to take time off. 

Looking at Summer Time Off as an Investment in Your Business

Creativity: Think of a time when you felt really creative or were simply in your flow and producing some of your best work. Chances are you were well-rested, and with a refreshed mind, you felt creative and innovative. When you’re constantly bogged down in the day-to-day work, it’s easy and common to get stuck in a rut. Vacation can change that.

Innovative Solutions: Time away can provide you with the space and inspiration that will spark new ideas and unique approaches to challenges you have been experiencing within your business. This renewed perspective can lead to innovative solutions and strategies to propel your business forward in both the short and long term.

Longevity: Think about the longevity of your business. Working long hours without pause can, likely will in time, negatively impact your physical and/or mental well-being. Burning out will only hinder your ability to lead and manage effectively in the long run. When you choose to prioritize time off, you are committing to your well-being, which can have a positive effect on your overall outlook and commitment to your business.

5 Steps to Support Your Time Off this Summer

While the idea of stepping away might seem daunting, here are 5 tangible steps you can take to make it a reality:

  • Schedule it: Treat your vacation time like any other important business meeting or conference. Put it on your calendar and commit to it. Let others know you will be off and set your email and voicemail to notify individuals who to reach out to in your absence.
  • Delegate and empower: Identify key tasks you can delegate to trusted employees or contractors. Provide clear instructions and empower them to make decisions in your absence.
  • Set clear boundaries: Establish a system for handling urgent matters while you’re away and communicate your availability to clients and staff. Make sure your team knows what situations constitute an ‘exception’ for contacting you (these should be minimal), so you can enjoy your time off with peace of mind. 
  • Streamline operations: A strategic tune-up can help identify areas for optimization within your business. By reviewing your operations, you can identify inefficiencies and implement changes while you are on vacation. Be sure to include your team members in this process so they are included and empowered and so you do not miss important details. 
  • Prepare your business: Before you depart, tie up loose ends, finalize any pressing tasks, and set your team up for success. And remember, if a project is not urgent, you can schedule it for a later date. 

By taking actionable steps to plan for your time off, you can minimize stress and worry, allowing yourself to truly disconnect and enjoy the break you deserve. Returning as a refreshed and rejuvenated you is the best asset your business has. So, go ahead and schedule that vacation – your business will thank you for it!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh-based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

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Planning Your Vacation

Edmiston GroupSummer time is quickly approaching, and the kids will soon be done with school. This means that it is time for your family vacation right? As many small business owners know this is easier said than done.

As a business owner myself, I find it challenging to go away on vacation and not be constantly checking my phone, or my email to make sure there are no emergencies. But, I have a good team and I have found with proper planning, you too can learn to enjoy your vacation away from work.

Preparing for your vacation well in advance is one the biggest steps to enjoying your vacation this summer. If you are like many small business owners with less than 10 employees, your absence may feel like an emergency is just around the corner. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Create a set of contingencies and give your staff the power to handle what comes up.

Prepare and train your employees.

One thing is always certain when it comes to emergencies, they will happen at the most inopportune moments, like… when you are away on vacation. These emergencies can be handled by your employees if they are trained and have all the information they need to know on how to handle the situation. The following information will help them to handle the emergency and prevent it from making its way into your vacation.

From A Physical Plant Perspective.
  • List of all contractors you use for plumbing, electrical, computer, internet, or other services that are pertinent to your business.
  • At what level of emergency do you wish to be notified? Simple problems such as a leaky sink are not an issue, however a major fire is something that you should be called over.
  • Name and number of your business insurance provider.

Empowering your employees to make not only simple decisions, but larger ones as well, will better allow them to handle an emergency when it arises.

Client Management.

Another step to being able to enjoy your vacation, is to notify your clients well in advance as to when you will be out of town. If you are your only employee they will need to know that you will be unreachable and how long you will be out of town.

The next part of managing your clients while you are out of town is to work ahead. Complete any work that can be accomplished in advance. This will help to reduce catch up when you get back to the office.

If you have a client that typically works with you over other employees, take time to assign an employee who you feel will work well with them and give the proper introductions to the employee. Also be sure the client knows when you will be gone, and that your employee is more than capable of completing the tasks you normally preform.

Lastly, always give yourself a few extra days after you get back. Having a day or two in the office while everyone still thinks your out will give you time to get caught up without the distraction of the phone ringing or your email pinging.

As a business owner it is important to take your time to recharge your batteries and unwind. Proper planning with not only your employees but also with your clients will help to make this possible.

It’s almost time for me to stick my toes in the sand! But don’t worry, I have things covered.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.