Vacation Scheduling: The Small Business Way

Vacation scheduling can be a murky concept for many small business owners. On one hand, every sane person needs a week (or two) to blow some steam off and clear their head a little. On the other, though, small businesses tend to mutate into their founders’ second shadow. They’re always in the back of your head and escaping them can prove to be close to impossible.

However, you should do just that. Having a break is absolutely crucial if you don’t want to burn out and potentially tilt. As you know, tilting equals poor decision-making – and poor decision-making equals problems with your venture. So with that in the clear, let’s see how you can setup vacation scheduling and arrange your enjoyable vacation – the small business way.

The Difficulty of Just Packing Up & Letting Go

Small businesses and even a great deal of medium-sized companies have a distinctive feature: every single person working there counts. And they count a lot – especially if we’re speaking about a founder or a co-founder. So vacation scheduling and conceding control is a much more difficult task in comparison with the good old enormous enterprises. Frankly, it’s pure hell and you’ll find yourself very reluctant to do so.

Statistics seem to support this sentiment, as Rasmussen Reports’ survey elaborates that over 40% of small business entrepreneurs keep in touch with their employees on a semi-regular basis during their absence. 29% take it even further, calling every single day. Another small business survey – this one done by OnDeck, reported that 67% of the owners planned to check in with what their business is doing.

Yeah, the bottom line is that there’s a high chance you’ll do the same. Which leads to the possibility of not taking a vacation at all (even though you’re actually on one). Or burning out. Feeling frustrated. Pissed off.

We’ve been there. We’ve done that. We drew our conclusions and we don’t want you to go through this vicious vacation cycle. Let’s get to some tips that will help you a bit with your vacation scheduling troubles.

The 4 Rules for a Small Business Owner on a Vacation

Don’t Underestimate Your Team

If you have a team (which is expected even for bootstrapped ventures such as ultra small businesses and startups), you know these people pretty well. After all, you’ve been working together for a while, right? There’s a certain amount of trust and respect among you. Vacation scheduling is not a new concept to you or them.

Chances are, if these people are a part of your company, they have their distinctive reponsibilities and they stick to them. They can handle your absence, especially if you prepare a short overview of what needs to be done before departing.

With that said…

Pick the Right Person

A team is a team, but there are always people who shine out a bit. They’re either more punctual, or take responsibility to an even deeper level than the other already reliable employees you have. As you are familiar with your team, you can easily pinpoint this vacation messiah. Identify them and delegate the role of a leader to further reduce any risks of things spiralling out of control.

Then, done your vacation scheduling, take a deep breath and start your journey. But…

Remember to Actually Take a Rest

It’s easy to schedule your vacation and sprawl your tan-ready body on the beach, or wander around in the mountains, or whatever floats your boat. What’s hard is sticking to the concept that you’re having your time off and actually enjoy your break from all things business related.

Can you guess what will be our main tip here?

Yeah, it’s the mobile device curse. Tablets and smartphones are a huge part of our everyday life, and small business owners are among the people most prone to overuse them while on vacation.

Please, for the love of vacations and those rare glimpses of careless entrepreneurial moments, limit your usage of tech. And when you do so…

Use Smart Tools & Apps to Save Time

We got it – you’re restless about keeping in touch with your team. However, you’ve at least done the “limit my exposure to the web” part right.

Here’s a hint: next thing you need to do to enjoy a vacation is optimize your (scarce) online time. Doing more in less time will let you return back to your peaceful break with a calm mind and the fluffy feeling that your business is safe.

How do you do that?

Well, with the help of cool cloud-based collaboration tools! Apps like Trello, Basecamp or Asana exist for a reason: to make things easier for you, especially there if you’re on a vacation and want to commit only a few minutes of your time to business affairs.

By the way, we’re actually pretty keen on project management and collaboration apps like these. That’s why we’re integrating a bunch of them in Cronforce, with Basecamp, Trello and Asana leading the way.

Helping You Cope With Vacation Scheduling

As we said, our team has also had some difficulties with taking some time off (and getting that tasty peace of mind) before. Then we thought about it very, very carefully, and started observing the state of many small businesses and medium-size companies. How they did their vacation scheduling, how they approached employee vacations, did they use some kind of a vacation scheduling software.

What we saw was a total chaos when it came to properly managing employee absences and vacation scheduling. As time offs are crucial to the success of any business (and to morale plus productivity), we made it a rule to implement a smart vacation & abscence management feature in Cronforce. You can try it out with a free trial.

As we already mentioned, we’ve been there. But that doesn’t mean you have to. Get the vacation you deserve and return with a fresh perspective, ready to take on whatever challenges the small business world throws your way.

The Team