Monday, July 7, 2014

Vacation Planning for Small Business

I just returned back to the office after a nice week long vacation in Cape Cod.  We had spectacular weather.  I only had to actually 'work' for about an hour during the entire trip. It took some planning, preparation and plenty of advance notice in order to accomplish that time off without interruption. Studies show that  actually taking a vacation may extend your life!  Here are some tips for small business owners and key employees to be able to take some time off.

1) Schedule or request your days off well in advance.  As a small business owner you may get first priority when choosing what days you want off, but you will still need to coordinate with your staff.  If you are a key employee or business owner it is very important to be sure the proper staff is in place in your absence. Have a company vacation calendar.  One central calendar that all employees can list their vacation days on (after your approval of course).  This will help to ensure proper coverage at all times.

2) Plan, Prioritize & Organize.  Set the auto reply on your email.  When someone sends you and email they will automatically receive a reply back letting them know you are out of the office. Be sure to include who to contact while you are away, how to reach them and when you will return.  Record a similar message on your voice mail greeting. Letting callers know when you are gone, when you return and what to do in the meantime.  Discuss with clients and customers when you speak to them that you will be away.  Do what is possible in advance so you meet any deadlines before you leave.  

Many states have different policies and laws when it comes to vacation time.  For example, in California vacation time is earned as labor is performed.  For example: 10 vacation days a year would mean 5 have been earned after 6 months.  Federal law does not require employers to give any paid time off - but it might be hard to retain professional employees with out a paid vacation policy.

How does your business weigh in?  Paid vacation time?  Upfront or earned? 

In conclusion, relax and enjoy your time off - you will live longer! Time off can give you the energy boost you need to de-stress and re-focus on your business when you return.


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