As a small business owner, it can be easy to fall into the habit of working around the clock. Self-employed people don’t get to enjoy the safety net of sick days and paid time off like other workers do, and small business owners are more likely to skip vacations — or work remotely the entire time. Diving into the entrepreneur life can seem wise in the short-term, especially as you’re working to grow your business, but it’s also a quick route to burnout. Here’s how to find work-life balance when you’re self-employed — and why it’s so important:
Take Time During the Slow Season
Finding a doable work-life balance when you’re self-employed may require a bit of flexibility when it comes to when you take your time off. If your business has a slow season, it’s likely the best time to get away. Some business owners even close their shops for a few days and take the time to unwind. If you budget your money right, you can take advantage of slow work periods by enjoying yourself rather than worrying.
Productivity Perk: When you step away from your work, you’ll have more energy when you return. A vacation can improve your health and give you time to de-stress, making you more efficient when you are back in the office.
Whether you’re in an office or working remotely, training a trusted staff member to manage your daily tasks and lead other employees can help you improve work-life balance. If you don’t have anyone able to do this, consider networking to find someone to work with. Perhaps you know someone else that runs a similar business, or you have a close friend who understands what you do and could fill in temporarily. At the very least, aim to outsource the small-scale stuff such as deliveries, cleaning and ordering supplies.
Productivity Perk: Loosening the reins might take you out of your comfort zone but having an employee who can handle your daily tasks could lead to new opportunities in the future, like expanding your business.
Let Important Clients Know You’ll Be Away
You don’t want your biggest and best clients to find out you’re away from an auto-response email. Be proactive and let them know a few weeks ahead of time that you’re taking time off. If someone else will be managing your business while you’re out, share that person’s contact information and level of extensive knowledge.
Productivity Perk: Every client communication has value. Take this opportunity to ask them about their own vacations or favorite travel memories — it may just strengthen your relationship.
While completely unplugging might be your goal, it may not always be realistic. But you can limit work interruptions while on vacation by scheduling work check-ins. Give your staff a timeframe of when you’ll be available to check emails and answer questions. You’ll stay connected but will leave yourself the ability to unplug and enjoy the day.
Productivity Perk: Going to a new place can help you gain perspective and enables you to look at things from a different angle. It may be just the space you need to help you take your small business to the next level.
Make Sure Your Small Business Is Protected
Protecting the communities where Farm Bureau members live and work is our top priority. We’re proud of the small businesses we serve. If you’re a small business owner, contact your local Farm Bureau agent today and make sure your business is protected.