Both personally and professionally, 2020 has been a unique year for a wide variety of reasons. One unexpected discovery we’ve had is: Because our businesses are online, and because of quarantine, we have worked all year long, without a break. Maybe you can relate.
According to an article in Harvard Business Review, on average, business owners in the U.S. work a 72-hour work week — which could mean vacation days are minimal. An Inc. Magazine article shares, “a lack of vacation can lead to anxiety and hinder our ability to think clearly in order to grow our businesses.”
This article goes on to share that, as business owners, we should take, at minimum, four weeks of vacation per year — with at least one week each quarter to reboot our minds, rest our bodies, enjoy the present, and plan for the future.
Behind-the-scenes of With Grace and Gold and The Preset Market, we have majorly failed in the vacation department — and maybe you’re right there with us. 2020 has been uncharacteristic in every sense, so whether personal circumstances, emotions, or stress have led to more work or more overwhelm — you are not alone.
We believe every day, week, month, and year presents us with a new opportunity to learn and grow. And that’s why, today, we’re sharing how to prepare your business for holiday break. Because, there is still time in 2020 to feel rested. If holiday break is on your radar, or if you aren’t quite sure how to plan for a holiday break, we’re sharing the exact steps we’re taking to hold ourselves accountable and experience peace of mind over the holiday break.
How to Prepare Your Business for Holiday Break
Taking a break or a vacation from your small business isn’t always easy. When we manage, oversee, and do so much within our small businesses, we feel a unique type of pressure to always be present and to keep our businesses moving forward, inch by inch, day by day.
But as we talked about in Episode 033 — 3 Signs of Burnout + 3 Surprising Reasons for Rest — the time we spend outside of our businesses can be just as valuable, if not more valuable, than the time we spend within our businesses. By spending time outside of our businesses, we can rest, gain perspective, think more clearly, and bring our best selves to our businesses.
So, today, we want to share 5 steps we’re taking to not only prepare for an actual, real holiday break — one full week away from our small businesses — and prepare your business for holiday break, but we also want to share how we plan to create peace of mind while doing so.
- Determine what needs to be done before break and after break. If you’re like me, you overestimate what can be accomplished in a given period of time. Preparing for holiday break has meant determining what absolutely needs to be done before break and what can wait until we return. By prioritizing those must-do to-dos, we can plan out each pre-holiday-break workday with purpose.
- Automate and schedule what you can. For small business owners, automating and scheduling is always helpful. However, as we prepare for holiday break, we’ve focused our attention on automating and scheduling our newsletters and social media posts. Using resources like FloDesk for our newsletter, Planoly for Instagram, and Buffer for additional social media planning allows to ensure our marketing will continue even when we are away.
- Communicate openly, honestly, and transparently with clients or customers. As we prepare for break, we communicate with our clients about our upcoming holiday break, including what our break does — and doesn’t — mean for their design process. We share what step of the process we are on, what step we are heading to next, and what can be expected upon our return. We aim to provide the level of transparency we would hope to receive as clients, and we hope it provides our clients with peace of mind as they approach their own holiday break, too!
- Set up a vacation responder. Wherever needed — our email Inbox or our website’s Contact page — we plan to create a vacation responder and let emailers know what can be expected with regards to our communication. That way, prospective clients will be helped and served though we will be away.
- Find peace of mind knowing holiday breaks are common and often expected. As small business owners, we feel a unique type of pressure to always be present — but I’m encouraging you, just as I’m encouraging myself — that holiday breaks are common and often expected. Most clients and customers will be understanding of your time away. Taking a break from work is beyond valuable, and you deserve to have peace of mind while you’re away.
We hope today’s episode encourages you to prepare your business for holiday break and equips you to take and truly enjoy a break — with peace of mind that your business will remain strong during and following your break.
New Episodes of Brand It Build It will return during the week of January 4. Until then, we can’t thank you enough for tuning in this year. If you enjoyed this episode or others, please, please leave a 5-star rating and review to help Brand It, Build It reach more listeners. Happy holidays!