The truest test of a business is when YOU, the entrepreneur, takes a holiday from that business. And not the working from wherever holiday where you take multiple types of mobile devices to ‘stay in touch’ and break into a cold sweat when the wifi from the beach doesn’t work.
A REAL holiday, where you disconnect from the day-to-day and let the business run itself. Did that statement make you freak out a little? Are you already making excuses why YOUR business can’t possibly continue without you? Are you justifying continuing to work while on holidays because you just love what you do so darn much?
Let me put it simply: You NEED a vacation. Your family needs you to take a vacation. Your friends need to you take a vacation. Your employees need to see you take a vacation. Even your business needs you to take a vacation so you are forced to do the things you need to do to make it run smoothly without you.
Forget all the benefits that come from you giving yourself downtime to refresh and re-energize. Let’s not even go into all the stuff about how your family craves your undivided attention. Let’s just focus on all the good stuff that has to happen in your business for a true vacation from your business to happen.
5 Keys to Getting Your Business Ready for You to Go on Vacation
#1: People (Em)power – The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is setting themselves up as the decision-making funnel through which everything must flow. It’s time to give up a little of that control and empower your people to make those decisions for you. That means guiding them as to the overall vision for the business instead of making every single decision.
#2: Data Management Systems – The other major roadblock for you escaping your business free and clear is all that stuff you have locked up in your head or on your computer. In order to enable your people to run the business for you, you need to give them access to the data they need to do it. That means documenting everything you do so you can hand-off your job, even if it’s just temporary.
#3: Marketing Autopilot – Often the entrepreneurs are the ‘rainmakers’ of the business. It makes sense since many entrepreneur run businesses start as solo enterprises where you do everything, including establishing those key client relationships. As your business grows so does the need to create a marketing funnel that isn’t dependent on you.
#4: Fulfillment and Delivery – The last thing you want to come home to after a relaxing vacation with your family is a bunch of angry customers who got lost in the shuffle. That’s why you need to work all the kinks out of your fulfillment and delivery process. How that is done depends on the type of business, but the idea behind it remains the same: your business needs to be able to deliver whatever it does without you.
#5: Financial Management – Finally (and perhaps most importantly), you need to figure out how you will manage the day-to-day cash flow needs of the business without you being there to do it. Maybe that means assigning one of your team to do the deposits for you or setting up bills on automatic payments.
Challenge yourself to start taking these steps now so this year (and every year to follow), you can take a much-needed break from your business! It may require a bit of creativity to find ways to apply each of these to your business, but it’s well worth the effort!