Being a small business owner can be tough, especially when the warmer months are right around the corner and you know you might be stuck working the days away instead of taking advantage of the better weather. The upside to this dilemma is that as the owner of your business, you are in the perfect position to implement changes to make sure you’re able to take time off and still get the job done.
You are the boss, after all.
Whether you want to spend extra time with your kids, take a much-needed vacation, or just spend a few more of your days outdoors, these tips should help optimize your schedule:
Know your slow days: You know your schedule. You know when the store is busy and when it is not. So the first trick to getting some much-needed time off is to use your slow time wisely. Use it to catch up on work and get ahead where possible. Handle payroll, write sales copy, and generally try to get as much done as possible. That way, when the time comes, you will be in far better position to take some time off.
Train your help: Your business should be able to run without you, but if it can’t, this is a good chance to move in that direction. Teach a trusted staff member what needs to happen, and when.
Hire a temp or virtual assistant: If you are a solopreneur and cannot get away without closing business for a few days, then consider hiring part-time help, a temp, or a virtual assistant who can manage the essential functions while you are gone.
Automate content: Sale announcements, scheduled updates, and social media posts, are the types of things that don’t need to be done in front of a computer all day to be posted. Use a tool like Hootsuite, for example, to get these tasks done.
Go mobile: If all else fails and you simply have to work while you are away, the good news is that our collective newfound ability to work from almost anywhere these days means that your business won’t have to be put on hold. With the plethora of smartphones, tablets and lightweight laptops on the market today, it is incredibly easy (too easy!) to stay on top of your business no matter where you are.
Schedule extra time when you get back: Don’t tell everyone you will be back in the office Tuesday, tell them Thursday. Then, when you get back on Tuesday, you can have a few days of uninterrupted time to catch up.
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Take control of your daily schedule: On a smaller scale, while your normal daily routine might not enable you to get out a lot and take advantage of the nicer weather, your schedule can still be adjusted to accommodate school fairs, your favorite band coming to town, or even just getting in a round of golf.
Wake up an hour early and put in some dedicated work time, or save your to-do list for the evening when the kids are in bed and the sun has gone down. Break your typical workday into blocks of a few hours at a time, and separate those blocks with some hour-long breaks to get outside and enjoy the day.
You are the boss. Be a good one - to yourself!
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss.
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