It’s getting to be that time. We know you don’t want to think about it. You know you need to do it, and you actually want to do it, but you hate the idea of it. You’re not in college anymore. You have responsibilities now. So many things that could go wrong! So many decisions that will need to be made! You tell yourself it will be alright, you’ve got the team in place, you’ve got the people you can trust, you got the tickets on Groupon at a great rate, and then…the fear sinks into your stomach.

You turn to your spouse, “Honey, I can’t!” and they are thinking, as they roll their eyes, “Oh my gosh, this drama again!?”

That’s right, it’s Spring Break, time for a vacation. For anyone that doesn’t own a business, it’s a time of fun, relaxation, and retreat. But for you, the thought of leaving your business, your baby, your brick and mortar, your bread and butter, to anyone but yourself, is terrifying!   

Do you know who takes the least amount of time off of work? Americans. Why do you think that is? The truth is, when you work hard you should be able to vacation hard, too. You deserve a break, but to ensure you can take as restful a vacation as possible there are a few things you can do to make the process as smooth as possible.

Review Expectations

Probably the first thing to do when planning your vacation is to sit down and review your expectations. Decide what is possible, and decide what might just be a hair-brained fret that you don’t need to strum. It’s a good idea to review your business’ stability. How long have you been around and is now a good time to take a vacation? If the answer is yes, keep reading!

How is Business?

Take inventory of your business. Is it usually busy at this time of year? Are you usually busting at the seams or is this a low key time when you can take a break and sales are already down a bit?

Check List

Finally, after reviewing those items, sit down with this list and make sure you’ve checked it twice.

  1. Pay all your bills. Get everything in a stable place so the electricity doesn’t go out when an order comes through for 500 fly fishing kits! You don’t want your team working in the dark.
  2. Let your important clients know that you are going to be gone and, if you want to allow it, how they can contact you. Otherwise, give them the next person that will be available to take care of them.
  3. Contact your suppliers and let them know, and answer any questions they may have now.
  4. Make a list of all the tasks you usually perform and hand them off to your next in line. Sit down with them, review each item, and possibly take ones off that can wait until you get back.
  5. Make sure you are still reachable for emergencies and make sure you define what constitutes an emergency with your employees.
  6. If you need to have a daily update from your office, let them know, otherwise try to avoid it! You deserve the downtime.
  7. Make a list of things to review and check on when you get back, and then put it in your top desk drawer, shut it, and hop on that plane to Bermuda! You can hear the Beach Boys singing now!