Are you a home business owner? Say, you have a business of your own that you run from home, and it’s just you at the helm, with very little outside help in creating a stable foundation to build your own empire off of. If that’s you, here’s a question for you: when was the last time you took a proper break?
Maybe it’s been a year, maybe 14 months, maybe you haven’t taken a break since you started. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! Having a home business can make drawing the lines in your work/life balance quite hard to do. You don’t know how to draw a split between the part of your kitchen that acts as your office, and the kitchen itself, for example.
However, it’s essential to try and do so, because even when you work from home and have your own environment around you for the majority, you need to take a step back every now and then. You need to be able to take a break, and ensure your batteries are charged and you’re ready to take on the small business world. And this post is here to help you put a vacation plan together.
Take Time to Recharge
Recharging is a big part of the need to take a break, especially when you’re the only one working away in your business. You’re taking on all manner of roles, and you’re doing the work of 4 or 5 people at the very least, and that’s not good for your mind or body in the long term.
Recharging is all about allowing yourself to rest and relax, regain your energy, and then at some point put it to good use in your endeavors again. But you can’t fill your batteries up if you’re constantly grinding them down – have you noticed your work slipping lately? It’s a sign!
And on another, very crucial note, if you’ve been putting off any important doctor’s appointments, because you’ve simply been too busy with your burgeoning business, now’s the time to schedule them and make sure you’re in good shape. Your health matters, above all else.
For example, one of the most neglected areas of your body right now are your eyes – you’re staring at screens all day, and probably not getting enough sleep. So, it’s a good idea to check into Eyeglasses.com or make an appointment with an optician while you have the perfect chance to. Taking physical care of yourself is a big part of recharging too!
Tell Your Customers
First of all, before you step away from your computer and the business you run on it, make sure you’ve got in touch with your entire customer base to say that you’re going to be away for the next week or two. Make sure they know no one is manning the desk at this point, and make sure you’ve got an out of office email reply ready just in case no one gets the memo.
It’s easy to do this; post about it on social media, send out a chain message to everyone on your mailing list, and even put up a temporary notice on your website’s homepage. Just ensure the people who pay for your products and services are kept in the loop, and you won’t miss out on any business or receive any bad reviews during your time away. After all, you’ve performed some very good customer service here!
But if you’re still a bit anxious about this, try not to worry, as your customers will understand where and why you’ve gone. If you’ve made it very clear in the past that you’re a home grown, one person only business, your customers won’t be hard pressed at all to find understanding in your decision here. They know you work hard, and they’ve seen first hand the quality of your product, and that’ll help them to wish you well during your time away.
Plan Around Your Vacation
When you finally decide it’s time to take a vacation, even if you’re not going anywhere, and you’ve penciled in a week or two on the calendar, you’ll need to plan around it. To do this effectively, you need to be sure you’re not launching any new products or services during this period, and you’re also not making any changes to the website or the app you’ve had created. You would want to be around when these kinds of things go live!
Similarly, make sure you’ve prepped for an emergency during this time as well. As a good example here, make sure the number for your IT desk service is on your phone ahead of time. This is just in case you get an influx of messages about how your website is down and no one can order anything. Store all the right numbers and/or emails, but then be sure to only use them when you’re sure there’s an emergency on your hands, rather than checking in every day just to see how things are going.
And if you are actually headed away during your vacation, you may want to take paper copies of certain things with you, just to give you peace of mind. Phone batteries can die on you, and laptops often need a charger plugged in to do anything, and that’ll make using a boarding pass or calling the emergency numbers you’ve stored very hard to do.
Download the Right Apps
There are plenty of apps you can download straight to your desktop or phone that’ll ensure you’re taking a break when you need to. They’ll keep you from constantly looking for something else to do when you’re supposed to be kicking back and eating some ice cream, and they’ll only let the most important of matters through the cracks.
Indeed, you need to relax and recharge here, but if you cannot get your mind off of the potential of missing a crucial message, these apps will give you peace of mind as well. And you can break these kinds of apps up into subcategories, and store them as such in folders on your homescreen. Let’s go through a few of the main genres here:
There are some apps out there that block you from visiting certain websites at certain times, usually known as ‘productivity’ apps – these can be used for your own purposes here, and maybe even stop you from accessing your email inbox at certain points throughout the day. There are apps that help you to move and stretch after you’ve been sitting down for too long. And there are some very simple apps that pop a notification onto your screen to remind you it’s time to step back and take 5.
What to Keep in Mind
Taking some well deserved time out from your home business is crucial right now. You’ve been working so hard to turn a profit and make a name for yourself, and that in itself deserves a bit of recognition with a break that lets you recharge and reevaluate. You’ll come back to work with more to give, and a better mindset, which can mean you make better decisions and take on better opportunities.
Every single expert out there recommends it; take a break when you need one, and even force yourself to take a week out two or three times a year. You have a lot to sacrifice for your home business, sure, but you shouldn’t give yourself up to it entirely!