This article was updated on July 5, 2018.
Everyone needs a vacation from time to time. Unfortunately, you may be hesitant to schedule trips because you're concerned about business protection while on vacation. But a little bit of preparation can help you take some well-deserved time off with some assurance that your business is in good hands.
Start Planning Early
Before you go on vacation, make sure that all of your affairs are in order. In the two weeks leading up to your time off, strive to finish off all of your major projects, pay any necessary bills, brief your employees on any additional responsibilities they will need to take on while you're gone and contact any major clients to let them know when you will be away. No matter the circumstances, try to avoid waiting until the day before your vacation to try to finish all of these tasks.
Find a Suitable Second-in-Command
As a best practice, you should establish a second-in-command, or someone who you can trust to run operations and make decisions when you're not there. By having someone in this role, you can help to put your mind at ease when you're on a trip, out sick or need to take some personal time.
If you don't currently have a second-in-command, you should find your most reliable employee and start giving him or her more responsibility. Train this individual to handle your role so that he or she can fill in while you're out.
Coordinate With Your Business Cycle
Chances are that certain parts of the year are much busier for your business than others. This is something you should keep in mind when you're planning your next trip, as it's best to try to schedule your vacation during your down periods. For example, if you run a retail business, you should try to avoid going on vacation during the holiday season — but January could be an ideal time to take a break.
Balance Your Communication With Your Business
Before you go away, you should determine just how often you ideally want to be in contact with your employees. On the one hand, you don't want your staff to call you for every tiny decision. But on the other, you also want to ensure that they know to reach out to you in the case of a serious emergency.
Before you leave, inform your staff of your availability. For example, you could specify that you will check e-mails at night and be available by phone during business hours in case a serious problem arises.
Take a Short Test Run
If possible, you should try to test out your new system with a short trip at first. As you gain more confidence in your system for business protection while on vacation, you can gradually schedule longer trips.
You deserve a break every now and then. By following these steps, you can schedule a great family vacation and help yourself avoid having to worry about your business.