How to Take a Vacation When You Run a Small Business

Work-related stress is a common issue among Americans, with 83% reporting suffering from it. For small business owners, this stress can have a significant impact on their personal and professional lives. This affects their outlook on the future and requires them to dedicate more time to resolving work-related issues.

One of the best ways to reduce stress and bring balance back into your life is by taking a vacation. This can it help you relax and recharge. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to gain perspective and return with a newfound enthusiasm for your work. However, when you’re running a small business, finding the time and energy for a vacation can be difficult. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your vacation when you’re running a small business.

Get your business ready before your vacation.

According to recent studies, 20% of small business owners experience guilt when taking time off. It is recommended to adequately plan and prepare your business before taking time away. By doing this, you can actually enjoy your vacation. This means ensuring that all of your clients and employees know when you will be away so they can plan accordingly. For individual clients who work with you directly, alert them well in advance and inform them that you will be unavailable to do any work while on vacation. Do you have customers who tend to leave their requests until the last moment? Make sure to give them a gentle heads-up several days before leaving so they can prepare for your absence. Inform them that you will not be back at work a few days after returning, so everyone can plan effectively if they require anything from you earlier.

To avoid burnout during this time away from work, take some simple steps such as delegating tasks to qualified employees. Make sure your team understands exactly what needs to be done for the company to keep running smoothly while you are absent. Additionally, create vacation policies that outline how customers should contact someone in-house during normal working hours if required assistance or services while you’re away from the office. Ensure both customer and business needs are met even when out of sight through these simple measures.

Use this article to check off those items. Then, leave work behind and know that things will be handled while you are gone.

Create limits for your vacation.

Vacations are supposed to be a time of relaxation and rejuvenation. Unfortunately, they can be quite stressful for small business owners. The fear of not being able to fully disconnect from work or handle emergencies that may arise while you’re away can make it hard to enjoy your vacation. However, it’s possible to go on vacation without worrying about work by setting boundaries for yourself.

By setting boundaries for yourself, you’re permitting yourself to enjoy your vacation without feeling guilty about being away from work.

Start by designating specific times of the day when you’re available to check in with your team. For example, you might check in with your assistant every morning at 9:00 am. This way, you can stay informed about what’s happening in your business without being constantly tethered to your phone or computer.

Another way to set limits is to delegate specific tasks to your team members or a virtual assistant. Make sure that everyone understands their responsibilities and has the necessary documentation to handle tasks without needing your input.

For peace of mind and staying connected no matter where your vacation is. Use tools like VoIP phone service. With advanced features like a call routing menu, your clients can reach the person they need even if you’re unavailable. And with the help of your assistant, they can set up a more extended hold time or an alternative business contact.

After setting your boundaries, it is time to dive in and make sure you have covered all the details before you take off on your much-needed time away.

Check-in occasionally

Taking a vacation as a small business owner is an essential way to recharge your batteries and refresh your mind. However, it’s crucial to stay connected with your business while keeping a balance to avoid the potential stresses of work. That’s why setting specific check-in times before leaving for your vacation is crucial.

While it’s essential to stay connected, there are potential risks associated with checking your email and website too frequently. It’s better to discuss and agree on specific check-in times with your coworkers or employees before you leave.

Discipline and self-control are essential during your vacation. If you stick to the schedule, you won’t set a bad example for clients and staff. By having a structured time slot for work, you shouldn’t feel too guilty, and you can enjoy your vacation without any major interruptions. Remember, taking time off is essential for the long-term health of yourself and your business.

Be available for emergencies

Being a small business owner doesn’t mean that you can’t take some time off to recharge your batteries and unwind. However, when it comes to running a business, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. As much as we’d like to imagine that our small endeavors run smoothly even when we’re away from the office, that’s not always the case. Thus, you must take the time to think about how you’ll handle any emergencies while you’re on vacation. By doing this, you won’t ruin your much-needed break.

Emergencies could include natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, or fires that directly affect your business or your team, or a major client issue that could lead to you losing a significant amount of revenue. Address these situations as soon as possible, no matter where you are vacationing.

The first thing you must do is create an emergency plan. This plan should include designating an employee to handle any issues that might arise while you’re on vacation. Choose someone dependable, responsible, and can be trusted to make hard decisions when needed. You also need to provide them with a clear understanding of what constitutes an emergency, so they can differentiate it from non-urgent issues.


Make time for proper communication with your designated employee. Let them know how much you appreciate their help and support. Be sure to give them an outline of how you handle customer and client issues. Provide them with all the relevant contact information they’ll need to reach you, such as cell phone numbers and email addresses. Make sure you speak to them in detail and communicate efficiently so that they will know what to do when an emergency arises.

Choose an employee trained to handle customer and client issues. Be sure to give clear instructions on how to contact you promptly if a real emergency arises. This helps you avoid getting disruptions you don’t need to worry about while you’re on vacation. But in case of real emergencies, rest assured that your designated employee will be there to take care of it efficiently.


However, not everything that comes up while you’re away is necessarily an emergency. For instance, a minor issue with a customer inquiry or a simple question from a team member does not warrant interrupting your vacation.

Therefore, it’s important to establish boundaries and communicate them with your team before you go on vacation. Set clear guidelines for what types of situations warrant interrupting your vacation. Ensure your team understands what actions they should take in different scenarios.

This will prevent unnecessary interruptions of your vacation time and allow you peace of mind knowing that your team understands what can wait until you return.

Enjoy yourself

You’ve done the hard work of preparing, delegating, and ensuring that your business can run smoothly without you. Now it’s time to let go and have a great time! Trust your employees to handle things and resist the urge to check in constantly.

Remember, taking a vacation isn’t just about escaping the daily grind, it’s about recharging your batteries and giving your mind a break. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks increases productivity and creativity. So, it’s not just good for your personal life, it’s great for your business too!

It’s important to fully immerse yourself in your vacation, whether that means disconnecting from your phone or prioritizing activities that make you happy. Take a long hike, go surfing, or simply lounge at the beach with a good book. Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and at ease, make sure you prioritize those activities.

Being a small business owner comes with its fair share of stress and responsibilities, but it’s important to remember that your well-being is just as important as the success of your business. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself, and trust that your business will be just fine without you for a little while.