If you’re an entrepreneur or self-employed, chances are you struggle with taking time off, especially during the holidays. Sure, your lifestyle may allow you to “work from anywhere,” but you’re not recharging the batteries when you’re chained to your smartphone or iPad, even while sitting at the beach.
It’s never easy for a business owner to take time off. For starters, taking a week off usually means no paycheck for that time. And more importantly, when you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, there’s the very practical matter of figuring out who’s going to mind the shop and take care of clients in your absence.
Fortunately, with many clients and vendors also taking vacations for the holidays, the end of the year is practically the one time when it’s easy to sneak in some guilt-free and stress-free time off. Here are a few tips to make your holiday time off as smooth as possible:
1. Give advanced warning.
Everyone is expected to take time off at some point, and any reasonable client or customer shouldn’t bat an eye if you want to take a vacation, particularly on the days surrounding Thanksgiving or between Christmas and New Year’s.
The key is to give clients, vendors and any other business contacts a sufficient heads up that you’ll be gone. Nothing is more frustrating (and unprofessional) as talking to someone one day, then emailing them a few days later only to get an auto out-of-the-office response that he or she will be out for a week.
Give your clients and colleagues plenty of time to ask you about any paperwork, projects, invoices, etc. that they might need while you’re out. If you’re lucky enough to have a point person (who doesn’t mind working this time of year), let everyone know his or her contact information. Likewise, if you plan to check your email or voicemail while out, let people know your parameters. Showing clients that you care about their needs upfront is the key to having a successful vacation without jeopardizing business and relationships. Continue reading “6 Tips for Entrepreneurs During the Holidays” »