As a small business owner it’s important to plan to take vacations, after all what is the point of working so hard if you can’t unwind and relax on a real vacation. This means turning off all your computers, disconnecting from social media and spending real quality time with your family. Everyone needs a vacation, the problem is business owners tend not to take very many. And when they do, they often lose money and stress about the work piling up for them to do when they get back. It is however possible to set your business up to avoid a drop off in income and still be in a position to turn everything off for that family vacation.
Build a Reliable Team
As a small business owner it’s imperative that at some point you build up a good team. You want to eventually become the manager of your business so that you can leave for short periods of time and business goes on as usual whether you’re there or not. Offer good training, good rates of pay, and give responsibility to your team (this is the hardest part in my experience) and they’ll come through for you when you’re away.
Use Automation Wisely
There are a lot of ways to automate a lot of your business. Whatever you can automate without making your business seem human-less, do so. If it doesn’t affect directly a client, automate it. For instance, you can automate most of your bookkeeping duties and your computer backups. Think hard about automating any aspect of customer service, though. This would be better for a team member to handle.
Bring in Another Small Business Owner / Partner
If you cannot yet afford to outsource and build an entire team, find a business owner who is in the same boat as you, someone who does the same type of work you do. Make a deal with each other to take over work for the other while on vacation. Put it in your client contracts that your proxy will work in your place during vacations, illness, or death. Then, if anyone asks what your emergency plan is, you can point to your proxy.
Schedule and Be Transparent
One of the best ways to control the inflow and outflow of work is to create a schedule for submission of work, as well as deadlines that make sense. If you do last-minute requests it can be difficult to ever take a vacation, but if your clients can see right on a calendar your open times and dates and your busy times and dates, it will make it easier for them to make their own schedules with knowledge of your availability.
Build Up Your Residual Income
Residual income is money you will make from past work such as affiliate income from product recommendations, blogging, and other activities. If you build up your residual income, and pr-schedule blog posts to happen while you’re on vacation, you’ll find that your income will not suffer while you’re gone.
FX Digital have been doing this for many years, our residual income has helped us stay in business and be as successful as we are. We realized many years ago that many small businesses could not afford to purchase one of our website solutions outright, we build best of breed websites that come with continued help, marketing, help, etc… to ensure online goals are achieved. Realizing that small business owners, who would benefit from our services could not purchase our website services outright we started to rent or lease them out, over the years this has built up as has our residual income. I know of a computer technician that changed his business model to a subscription model based on computers, to gain residual income… perhaps you could do something similar.
As a small business owner you can easily take a vacation and keep working with a laptop, too. You literally can work from anyplace with an internet connection so you’re not tied down, regardless if you have someone who can take over or not. But, why not build up your business to the point that you can go on a real vacation and completely disconnect a couple weeks a year? You can do it with these tips.