Small business owners are never really off the clock. In 2014, the majority of small business owners did not take a vacation at all. Even when they walk away from their desks, smartphones, and other work responsibilities, the business is still there, lingering.
Understandably, most small business owners have trouble completely letting go of their work identities when they do manage to take some time off. So rather than completely walking away from the business side, small business owners should look for easy, everyday ways to take their work along for the trip that do not impede on the relaxation time.
Here are just a few ways to make that happen:
- Pack business cards. You never know who you might meet in your travels. It’s much easier (and more professional) to hand over a business card with your contact details than to scribble it down on a crumpled up receipt. Throw a few business cards in your pocket, suitcase, backpack, or beach bag. Drop a few off at different spots along your route and expand the reach of your small business in the process.
- Post to social media. Do you sell a product that can go along on the ride with you? Take some photos of it in different locations to post to social media. If you provide a service-type business, think of relevant ways to relate what you offer to vacation-type posts. Remember that people prefer visuals over plain text, so try to post photos or videos to see the most engagement.
- Schedule work time. Don’t schedule a lot of it, but do allow yourself small windows of time to address any business tasks that need your attention. Check emails, make phone calls, and reach out to any sales leads. Give yourself a starting and ending time, and stick to it. By taking just a little time to check in, your mind will be at ease during your off hours.
- Delegate tasks. Pick the right people to look after the business while you are away. If you are a sole proprietor, consider outsourcing some of your tasks like sales calls, answering emails, or posting to social media. Most small business owners will be happier if they know that at least some work tasks are being completed, rather than everything just piling up for when they return.
- Look for prospects. What can you do along the way to grow your small business? Perhaps there are future clients or vendors you could meet with for lunch. Maybe you could host an event that fits into your business model at your new spot and raise brand awareness. Remember that your time off is just that, but cashing in on the travel side to look for opportunities is really valuable. You may even be able to write off some of your travel expenses if you have business encounters on it.
How do you take time off but remain invested in your small business at the same time?