How to Take a Vacation from Your Home Business

5 Tips to Taking Time Off

Take a Vacation from Your Business
Take a Vacation from Your Business. JPM | Getty Images

Right now I'm sitting on the balcony of my hotel room overlooking the beach. Although I'm working right now (writing this article), for the most part I'm on vacation. Business owners are notorious for not taking vacations. Part of it is out of worry about losing business while gone and part of it is related to stress about falling behind. For home business owners, taking a vacation is even more worrisome, as they are often the only ones who are working on the business.

Taking a break from business means taking a break from income.

However, not taking vacations or short breaks to rejuvenate your energy and relax, will lead to burnout. There are ways for home business owners to take vacations without giving up income or completely abandoning their business. Here are some tips for taking a well-earned vacation.

Close Your Business

I know I said you can take a break without disrupting your business, but if you can afford it, why not just close for a few days or a week? You don't have to worry about what's happening or deal with work-related issues while on break. There are places in Europe in which the shops close for the entire month of August while the owners take a vacation. If they can do it for month, you can do it for a few days or a week.

Finish Projects and Work Ahead

This is what I do. Before heading to the beach, I completed a book project and worked ahead getting all my blog posts, social media and articles (except two) written, submitted and scheduled.

Finishing projects is important because there's nothing worse than having unfinished work hanging over you while you're trying to relax. Working ahead allows you to get the work done, so you can completely enjoy your break. Working ahead does require planning and organizing to get it done during your regularly scheduled work.

Let Clients and Customers You'll Be Away

You don't have to give them details about leaving town or what you're doing. All you need to do is let them know that you'll be closing or working a reduced schedule. Your clients will appreciate knowing in advance that you won't be as quick to respond to issues. When you contact them, ask them if they have any work they need done prior to your break. This will give clients that leave things to the last minute a warning to let you know about needed work.

Outsource Work

The only thing I ever worry about on vacation is email. What if someone needs help? What if an article needs attention? Another issue that I've had happen on vacation is my website going down. For most of my home business life, I've checked email and website status every morning and night during lulls in vacation fun. However, it's more fun to hand the work over to someone else. A virtual assistant can deal with important email, verify websites are working properly, and fix it if something has gone wrong. The trick to completely handing over your business tasks is trust. So find a competent, experienced VA with references. Hire your VA well-enough in advance of your trip that you can train her in how to respond to common email and website issues.

Give your VA a way to get in touch with you in emergencies she can't solve.

Set Up Systems and Tools

Prior to my leaving on vacation, I was in the middle of scheduling guests for my podcast. This is time consuming because there's a lot of back and forth in setting up times for interviews. I could have delegated it to a virtual assistant, but instead I used a free scheduling tool that allowed potential guests to book themselves within parameters I set up. Many online tasks can be automated and scheduled. You can schedule blogs to post while you're gone. You can set up social media posts in advance through a tool like Hootsuite. Set up your email to automatically respond with the answers to the most common questions you receive and information on how to get further help, such as emailing your VA, if needed.