Despite summer being a little slower for many small business owners, it looks like that won’t be causing them to take a vacation this year. Manta released its annual SMB Wellness Index survey today, and it shows that 48% of small business owners won’t be taking a vacation this year. That, coincidentally, is the same percent of small business owners who don’t take vacation as reported last year in 2011.
Slow Business For Some
It’s interesting that, although business slows down for many this time of year (since people are taking time off to be with their children and to go on vacation) small business owners don’t slow down too. Terry Benton, owner of Terry’s Fabric Cottage, said she notices a significant slowdown in business during the summer.
“Summer is always slower for my business because people are on vacation and they are spending more time with their families and friends,” explained Benton. “Quilts are the last things on people’s mind when it’s scorching hot out.”
Benton doesn’t, she says, have the luxury of shutting off her business, even when it’s slow, so she stays connected, even when on vacation.
Despite this slowdown, Manta’s survey shows that more than half of those surveyed are working more this year than last. Here’s hoping they’re working on strategy and marketing while things are slow.
Technology: Always a Factor
Of those that do plan to go on vacation this summer, 71% said they check email while on vacation. Having mobile technology, it seems, is a double-edged sword. It enables us to get out of the office…but it forces us to take the office everywhere.
From the perspective of the spouse who vacations with a business owner who constantly checks his work email (ahem), here are some tips for business owners to balance out their vacation and down time without running their business into the ground:
- Plan ahead. Determine who will run your business in your absence, or set up parameters for how often you’ll check in.
- Let everyone know. Employees, customers, vendors. It’s polite to let everyone know you won’t be available.
- Cut yourself off. Don’t let technology make you over-available. If you say you’re on vacation, people will respect that. So you don’t have to respond to emails the same day.
- Step away from the business. The purpose of vacations is to step outside of the day-to-day and get some perspective. Don’t be surprised if you come back to work refreshed and with great ideas.
- Focus on family. Small business owners often have to divide their attention between their work and their families. Remember that vacation is all about the latter. Make it a priority.