Vacation Season is Upon Us… Where are You Going?

School’s out for summer and that means vacation season has arrived at last, as people hit the road in search of exciting locales, new experiences, and an opportunity to “recharge their batteries,” as the saying goes.

But if you’re like many small business owners, you might be a bit overdue for a vacation of your own. After all, running a business is hard work. And it’s easy to become so immersed in that work, or think of your own role in the business as so critical, that you feel reluctant to take some time off for yourself. But it’s precisely because running a business is such hard work that it’s so important to step away from time to time.

When we talk about vacation as a way of “recharging your batteries,” it truly is an apt metaphor. The stress of long hours at work can take a toll on your body, leading to health problems down the road. And your brain needs rest and downtime to stay sharp and work effectively.

However, if the benefits to your physical and mental well-being aren’t enough motivation to take some time off, consider the ways that going on vacation can help your business, too…

Spark Creativity
Breaking away from your routine to experience new places and things can spur creative thinking that you can put to good use once you get back to the office. The mental rejuvenation of downtime also allows you to de-stress and refocus. When you return to work, you’ll be newly energized and engaged.

Step into Your Customer’s Shoes
You’ll naturally encounter other businesses in your travels. Consider this an opportunity to evaluate them from a customer’s perspective. Do you notice anything interesting or inspiring that you could adapt to give your own customers an improved experience? Be attentive, and you won’t just bring back souvenirs, but valuable business insights as well.

Give Your Business a Stress Test
Taking some time away from the business can help you identify strengths and weaknesses in the operation. Do things still run smoothly without you there? How well does your staff work together in your absence? If the business can’t operate effectively without you on site, you’ve uncovered a problem – and an opportunity to make the business stronger by addressing it.

So go ahead, give yourself permission to take a much-deserved vacation this summer. Your body and mind will thank you for it – and you might just give your business a boost, too.