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Small Business Owner's Guide to Taking a Vacation from Work

Taking a vacation isn't always easy when you own a small business. In fact, less than 50 percent of small business owners take a vacation. But remember: You're not any different from your employees — you need time off, too. Whether you're worried about the day-to-day operations of a business or tackling an important project, you can still find time to go on vacation if you prepare for it.

It's Time for a Break

According to Karen Matthews of the Mind and Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh, taking a vacation from work allows the body to replenish and repair itself. For small business owners, who rarely take full days off, it's even more important to take a vacation. Consider these benefits:

  • Increased productivity upon your return
  • Time to come up with new ideas without the daily stress of running a business
  • Learning how to let go and delegate tasks to other people

To relax during your vacation, you must have a solid plan in place before you hop on a plane. Some things you should consider while you're planning for your trip include:

  • The best time to take a vacation for your business
  • Who you're going to leave in charge while you're gone
  • What tasks need to be handled while you're away
  • How often you want to communicate with your employees while you're on vacation

Unplug or Stay Connected?

While you're on vacation, you should try to have minimal contact with your employees, so you can really unwind. However, with laptops, tablets and smartphones, it's easier than ever for small business owners to stay connected during trips. Some small business owners find it easier to relax if they take the time to check in each day. Others find it easier to relax if they completely unplug. It's important to determine the best option for you and then stick to the plan you've created. After all, the point of taking a vacation is to relax, not to work.

Getting Back in the Groove

When returning from your trip, try to keep your schedule clear for the first few days. This gives you time to get up to speed on what's been happening and to devise a plan for any new ideas you may have for your business.

As long as you've taken the time to plan your vacation, train your employees and get ahead on work before you leave, there shouldn't be any major issues that develop. So get ready to reap the many personal and professional benefits of taking a vacation.

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