It’s summer, the days are getting longer, and the kids are out of school. I bet you wish you were at the beach right now instead of sitting in your office. That is unless you’re reading this blog at the beach, in which case I have some questions about how you’re spending your downtime. Hopefully, you’re only a few weeks away from a relaxing vacation. However, if you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering how you’ll ever be able to take a vacation again. After all, your business can’t possibly function without you for a whole week at a time.
Spoiler alert: it will function just fine, assuming you’ve prepared.
No one person should ever be indispensable in the office, even the business owner. I’m not suggesting that you should aim to be completely hands-off. You’re a vital component of your business’s success. But, you’re just that: a component. Your business must be able to function successfully without you, when necessary. Even if you hate vacations and time off, emergencies happen. Take the time to identify how your business will work without you directing every detail and enlist the support necessary to make that happen – before you need the time away. Otherwise, you might find yourself working from a hospital bed hours after giving birth. Not an ideal scenario. I can tell you from experience that hospital rooms make terrible home offices.
How can you tell it’s time to let go of control?
Working from your hospital bed is one sign, but it’s not the first sign. The first sign is thinking, “Ugh. I want to get away. But I can’t.” Obviously, there will be plenty of weeks that you genuinely can’t get away. If you’re a CPA, for example, planning a vacation during tax season will always be a bad idea. But, you should be able to get away on an average week without too much added stress. If you legitimately can’t, it’s time to bring in some support.
How should you approach the process?
First, determine what kind of support system you need. Are you going to hire a new in-house employee? Or are you going to outsource? Hiring an in-house employee to take over some of your daily tasks is a good option for a business owner that isn’t ready to let go of too much control. An employee will do things your way, on your time, and will become a valuable part of your team. However, hiring a new candidate and integrating them into your organization is time-consuming, and might not be a great option if you’re facing a time crunch. If time is of the essence, outsourcing your more time-consuming tasks is a great option. You’ll get all the upsides associated with experienced professionals managing specific business tasks without dedicating significant time to hiring and managing a new employee.
Whatever course you choose, you will start the process by letting go. You’ll need to come to terms with the fact that nobody will ever do things exactly the way you will. That’s probably a good thing! A new person will approach old problems in a new way. Frequently, that way is better – or at least not worse. If you’re open to new ideas and have the right person working alongside you, letting go of the old way of doing things can be great for your business.
Don’t underestimate how long this process can take. Finding the right person takes time. There will be growing pains, more so for an in-house employee than an outsourcing situation, especially if there are client management aspects to the tasks you’re trusting to another person. Don’t be like me. Start the process before you’re in a hospital bed.
Bottom line: if you can’t remember the last time you turned off your phone- let alone your last vacation – it’s probably time to bring in some help. Office Accomplice can take over your day-to-day office management tasks so you can focus your time where it makes the most difference. Contact us to learn more about how our team can give you your weekends back.