How to Take Time Off From Your Business
When you’re in growth mode, the last thing you’d ever imagine is taking a break from your business. After all, if you don’t keep the wheels in motion, won’t all of the progress you’ve made stop?
There are a number of reasons why you should take a vacation:
- A better work-life balance is great for your health and mood.
- Without the burden of deadlines and obligations, you get to spend time doing whatever you want, when you want.
- It reduces the chances you’ll bum out in the near future.
- It’s good for revitalizing productivity and creativity when you get back to work.
Another reason why vacations are so important for creatives to take?
They force you to get your business’s finances in order.
Let’s Talk About Fear for a Second
I get the fear that comes with taking time off from the business. Until now, you’ve probably been of the mindset that:
“If I work X amount of hours a week, I’ll make X amount of money.”
If you don’t work those hours, you lose that money, right?
Worse, if you don’t work those hours, you’ll fall out of favor with clients who’ll, in turn, give their business to the Agencies and Freelancers who are available 24/7.
And don’t even bother with prospects. Who’s going to wait a week or two to get a response back from you?
If you do good work and your business’s reputation is solid, don’t worry about what others will think if you take a much-needed vacation. And if you do want to worry about it, consider this:
We’re all human and we all know the pain of stress and burnout.
Clients and prospects that tum their noses up at you going on vacation are not the kind of people you can afford to do business with anyway. These are the kind of people who will eat up as much of your time as they possibly can.
The ones worth working with are the ones who will happily wish you “Bon voyage!” and patiently wait while you take a breather from work.
But Can You Afford to Take a Vacation Away from Your Business?
So, it’s clear that you need a vacation and that there’s no valid reason why clients wouldn’t respond positively to you taking time to recharge. But… can you even afford to take a vacation away from your business?
The answer to that is “Yes!”, but you’re going to need to do some work to make it happen:
1. Know Your Numbers
Do you know your numbers? In other words, do you know what kind of money is coming in and going out of your business? Better yet, do you have control over it?
Before you do anything else, line in number one. Do this by getting an understanding of what money is coming into and leaving your business.
2. Create a Vacation Fund
In order to strengthen the financial foundation of your WordPress business, you have to be good about saving money.
While most of the money you earn goes towards paying business bills, paying yourself, and putting aside money for retirement, don’t forget about a vacation fund. It doesn’t have to be a ton of money either. Just start putting something in there.
3. Cut Your Business Expenses
One of the nice things about creating a stable business with predictable earnings is that it gives you the room to safely evaluate and cut expenses. If you’re struggling to find extra money to put into your vacation fund, expanding profit margins by cutting expense is an easy way to fix that.
Start with your software and utilities. When was the last time you looked at your usage vs. what you’re paying for? Locate those cost-saving opportunities and downgrade your services now.
4. Set Up a Passive Income Stream
Your budget should account for the time you plan to spend away on vacation. However, if you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of having absolutely no revenue coming in during that time, create a passive income stream for yourself.
You could sell video courses, plugins, design templates, etc. All you need to do is spend some time creating these valuable assets, and then find the right channel through which to sell them (if not your website).
5. Amplify Your Productivity When You’re Working
Did you know that the ideal workday – at least the parts where you expend creative brainpower – should only be four hours long? If your business revolves around your ability to solve problems for clients, you’d benefit from working only when you’re the most keyed in.
Dan Sullivan, who co-wrote The Laws of Lifetime Growth, said:
“It’s not the amount of time you spend working each day. Entrepreneurs get paid through problem-solving and creativity. You can create a solution in a shorter period of time if you are rested and rejuvenated.”
Find those peak periods of productivity and shape your workdays around them. You’ll find that your new-found efficiency takes the pressure off of stepping away from the business.
6. Automate As Much As You Can
Automation isn’t just a good idea to speed up workflows and boost profits. Use it to put your business on autopilot, even when you’re away for days or weeks at a time.
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Run all key processes through automation software.
- Prepare message template/email auto-responder that clients and prospects receive in your absence.
- Create and schedule content to go out while you’re away.
- Close your calendar to appointments.
- Program your website to do as much as it can: managed hosting, auto-share on social, forward form submissions to other people, etc.
If you don’t have a team that can monitor these automations or watch out for the random emergency, consider hiring an affordable VA to screen all incoming messages. That way, your business won’t 100% be left in the hands of machines.
7. Schedule the Vacation During Your Slow Time
One last thing you can do to ensure that a vacation won’t hit your bottom line so hard is to schedule it for your slow time. If your gut response is, “I don’t have one”, have a look at last year’s Google Analytics or your monthly financial statements.
See any dips in there? My guess is that they occurred around the December holidays or the summer. Whenever they happen to be, schedule your vacation there. That way, demand for your services and attention will be lower, which means less pressure on you to stay glued to your computer.
8. Just Take Time Off!!!
Sometimes going away to decompress will work wonders for your productivity when you return.
If you’re really worried about what will happen when you take a vacation, but you know you’re craving some R&R, why not do a workcation? Find a place to work from that has good wifi, set limited hours of availability , and then completely disconnect when it’s time to unwind.
Whether you decide to take a vacation, workcation, or staycation, it’s important to prioritize this “me” time when you can. If you don’t, it will cost your business severely in the long run.