Countdown to Summer: Is Your Business Able to Give You a Break?
Summer is almost here – and that means it’s time to take a break from your business and go on vacation with your family. And not the kind of vacation where you’re working remotely and constantly checking in – a REAL vacation where you disconnect and enjoy the time off (like those people with J.O.B.s get to do)!
The big question is: Can your business continue to function without you?
The trouble with entrepreneurial businesses is that often the entrepreneur is the linchpin of the organization – the rainmaker who brings in the business, the decision-maker who drives the daily activity and the problem-solver who everyone turns to when things go wrong.
Chances are the simple day-to-day operations will continue as normal, but without the entrepreneur present, the business loses momentum, critical tasks get left undone and small problems grow into full-on crises. That means as the entrepreneur, you never really get a break from your business (and when you do, you return to a complete mess).
Business Break Readiness Check List
Just because it’s difficult to do doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. All it means is you need to prepare your business for you leaving it. What that looks like depends on your business, but the key areas you need to consider are common to all businesses.
So before you hop on a plane or jump in the car for your much-needed downtime, take a moment to consider the following:
Financial – The last thing you want is to be handling stressful financial crises while you are away. Are all your payments up-to-date and current invoices sent? Do you have a system to deposit receivables? Do you have financial tools in place to handle outgoing payments if expected accounts receivables don’t come in?
Human Resource – It’s important to make it clear who has final say in your place while you are away. Do your people have clear direction for what you expect of them while you are away? Have you identified who makes the tough decisions in your place? Do the other members of your team respect the interim leader?
Sales and Marketing – Don’t underestimate how easy it is to lose momentum with your sales and marketing. What business development activities need to be done? What sales can you wrap up or close before you leave? What prospects need to be handed off for follow-up by your team?
Operations – For all the stuff that only you can do, get it done beforehand and leave clear instructions on the where and the what for your team. What functions need to be handled before you leave? Do you need to handle special tasks, like payroll or sign-offs, before you go?
It may take you a vacation or two to get all the necessary systems in place, but be patient – it’s well worth the effort to be able to truly leave your work behind!