Taking a vacation as a business owner is possible and highly recommended. As someone who recently came back from a month-long break, not only will you get to rest and take a step back, but you’ll also experience other benefits you might not have expected.
If you haven't scheduled some time off in a long time or if you have not taken a break since starting your business, this post is for you. Here are seven benefits of taking a vacation as a business owner (#7 is a must-read!).
01. You'll Get to Rest Productively
The most obvious benefit you get from taking a vacation is you get to rest and take a step back from your business.
Your day-to-day routine and activities can take a toll on your relationships and your physical, mental, and emotional well-being especially if you’ve been working too long or too hard and you have not been taking frequent rest periods in the evenings and during weekends.
On the other hand, taking a scheduled vacation forces you to stop and stay away from the things that could be triggering your stress, overwhelm, or anxiety.
You could spend the time evaluating your business, systems, and team members, then determine what’s working and not working. You can also see the bigger picture and identify how all of these tie in with your personal long-term goals.
When done intentionally, you’ll come back from your break completely refreshed, energized, and even excited to get back to work (I know I was!).
02. You'll show confidence in and appreciation for your team
If you have team members or employees who work for you, taking a vacation is a great opportunity to show confidence in them and show your appreciation for them (in case you haven't been doing this yet).
Unless you spend your entire time off micromanaging them from afar, they can use this time to take the wheel, let their skills and talents shine, and show you how much more value they can contribute to your business.
You'll have the opportunity to develop trust and respect for one another, and grow out of a typical transactional employee-employer relationship.
03. You'll become a better leader
By taking a vacation, you’re also setting a good example to your team. As their leader, it’s important to show them (not just tell them) to prioritize aspects of their lives that are separate from work or business—their health, relationships, hobbies, etc.
When they see that it’s encouraged (not just “allowed”) to take a break once in a while, they’ll become better at balancing their work and personal lives and in turn, they’ll become better employees by avoiding burnout, overwhelm, or turnover.
As they follow your lead, they, too, can return from vacations with newfound energy and excitement to get back to work.
04. You'll become better at prioritizing and delegating
This was surprising for me when I took a month-long vacation recently but I discovered what I really liked doing and what I didn’t enjoy as much.
For example, I found out I like blogging more than I previously thought, I missed interacting with my clients, and editing videos is the task I missed the least.
This tells me now that I could ramp up on blogging (which I’m already testing out by publishing more than once a week), I could look into opening a Facebook group or membership site, and I could outsource editing my videos from now on.
As a business owner, finding out what you like and don’t like doing can be indication of how you should approach different aspects of your business, what’s the best use of your time and energy, and what you should automate, delegate, or even eliminate instead.
05. You’ll be forced to set up systems and put them to the test
Just in case you haven’t set up systems for your business yet, preparing for a vacation well in advance is the perfect time to start.
You would ideally want to have everything run smoothly so this requires you to evaluate your processes, eliminate unnecessary tasks, identify which tasks can be automated, delegated, or consolidated (aka batched) to save time and manpower.
Going on a vacation also puts your systems to the test because you’ll see how effective or ineffective your processes are especially without your constant supervision.
You’ll notice which aspects of your business are prone to problems (ex. email marketing or advertising), which need a lot of manpower (ex. customer service or membership sites), and which you can confidently run in the background (ex. your website or automations).
06. You’ll be prepared for emergencies
As you prepare for a vacation, ideally you would take a hard look at your systems to make sure nothing falls between the cracks. The more problems you foresee and prepare for right now, the less frustrated you’ll be in case they do pop up in the future.
You could create an operations manual or standard operating procedures document which outlines what needs to be done, why, how, by whom, and by when. These will help you better predict problems or bottlenecks and come up with ways to avoid or manage them.
07. You’ll be ready to scale your business after
This goes without saying but scaling your business without first making sure you’ve got the basics down is a recipe for disaster.
It’s best to streamline everything first in order to cut costs and maximize your resources; otherwise you’d just be pouring more and more money on things that don’t work from the beginning.
For this reason, you could look at taking a vacation as a test. Once you’ve set up and streamlined your systems and have successfully proven that they indeed work (even after removing yourself from the equation), you now have the foundation to scale your business.
You will have shifted from an employee or solopreneur mindset to a manager or CEO mindset. You will have shown confidence in your team, given them more responsibility, and determined that they could handle the growth of your business. You could even prepare to diversify, add more revenue streams, tap into other markets, hire more people, implement more complex processes, switch to more sophisticated or expensive tools, etc., all without hurting your core products, services, or processes.
Taking a vacation as a business owner brings more than just getting a much needed break from your day-to-day activities. Done right, your rest period can be an opportunity to become a better leader, become better at prioritizing and delegating, set up systems, prepare for emergencies, and establish a foundation to scale your business in the near future.
Share in the comments below: Have you taken a long vacation from your business before? If so, what did you do to prepare for it? If not, are you planning to take one soon after reading these seven benefits?