Can you leave your business and go on vacation?

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by Suzanna Watson on May 17, 2011

We get asked that question every now and then. Ready for the answer? Of course you can.

You just need to plan for it. After all, we all need a vacation from time to time, otherwise we would all go bonkers at some point.

A vacation means different things to different people of course. For some it involves taking a plane to a far off location while for others it’s just a matter of getting in the car for a road trip. Then you have some who perfer “yardville” so to speak. Each of these options allows you to re-charge the batteries.

We recently went away for a nice vacation and enjoyed every minute of it. In fact we usually take at least two really nice vacations per year. One is in the spring while the other is in the fall. These two get-aways generally run 8 – 10 days each.

We also try to fit in several smaller get-aways that last 3 – 4 days each. How can we do that you ask? We just plan for it. It wasn’t always that way though. In the beginning stages of our business we were afraid to take a vacation.

If we did take any time off, we would only take a day or two at most. Just the thought of leaving the business for a week made us cringe with fear. Our imaginations would run wild with thoughts of all the things that could go wrong. Oh…how things have changed.

It all started when friends of ours invited us to take a week with them in the Caribbean. I mean how could we refuse. All we had to do was find a way to make it happen. Guess what? We did.

We had an employee we knew we could trust and took great care to groom her for the supervisors job. The rest was just thinking through the process to make sure we had our bases covered. It was not all that hard to be honest with you.

This is how we did it. We simply put a book together with all the information we knew she would need. This included all employee phone numbers, our customer account information, work schedules and insurance information. Next we made sure everyone had enough supplies to last them for the week we were away.

Then we made sure all the employees had the supervisors phone number as well. This way everyone knew who to call if an issue came up. We even walked her through the jobs she was not familiar with, just in-case someone called out or had a problem while we were away. No detail was missed.

The first vacation was very stressful for us for the first two days, we worried constantly until our friend said “no one will fault you for taking vacation”. She knew we left the business in good hands and she just bluntly told us to stop worrying and enjoy yourself. She was right as everything went fine.

Nowadays we don’t really worry at all. Though the week leading up to vacation is very busy for us, it’s a small price to pay to get away. We just make sure the book with all the information for the supervisor is up to date and educate everyone on what to do in our absence.

Remember the world will not come to an end if you go on vacation. You can fix whatever went wrong on your return, as the vast majority of mistakes can be corrected with a five minute phone call. Just think the process through and you’ll be fine.

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