If you’re a small business owner, you know how difficult it is to take a vacation over the holidays. Leaving behind unfinished projects at the end of the year is challenging enough. To boot, you may feel you need to hold down the fort so your employees can take time off.
Even when a holiday vacation seems impossible, it’s not too late to reconsider giving yourself a well-deserved break. To help you effectively plan time off so you can relax and recharge for the year ahead, take a look at our four top tips for a last-minute holiday escape:
4 Ways to Take a Much-Needed Vacation
Put someone else in charge
Of course, this isn’t an option if you’re a one-man shop. Short of this, however, you can choose a trusted employee to manage things while you’re away. With Christmas approaching, you’ll need to select an interim manager immediately. You can then train her to handle important day-to-day tasks in your absence. If it helps put your mind at ease, you can set up calls with your temporary manager while you’re away. If you truly want to unplug, however, try trusting your employee, setting up an out-of-office auto responder message on your email, and dealing with work issues when you return from vacation.
Close shop while you’re away
If you operate a retail business, closing down probably isn’t a good idea. If you’re a freelancer or run a service business, however, you can take advantage of what is often a quiet time of year. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that business will be slow as many of your clients will also be on vacation. When I ran a yoga studio, for example, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was always one of my slowest weeks. Some years I closed the studio over the holiday period. Other years, I put someone else in charge and ran a limited schedule, allowing me to get away at a time when classes were near empty and sales were limited.
If you’re worried that closing down for vacation will cause a marked drop in sales, perhaps you can opt to take just a few days off around Christmas or New Year’s Day. If so, you can contact your clients ahead of time to let them know when you’ll be unavailable.
Plan ahead and get organized
Regardless of whether you plan to place an employee in charge or shut down to take a vacation, planning ahead will help you truly enjoy your time off. To more effectively plan out your workload in advance, try creating a master list of tasks with deadlines. This may include projects to finish before your departure, calling clients to tie up loose ends, or creating email marketing campaigns that are scheduled to hit while you’re gone. Planning ahead can also help you ease back into work after vacation. For example, you can create a to-do list for your first week back which may include tasks like scheduling meetings, placing purchase orders, and implementing new software. Make sure each task is also on your calendar so that you feel organized and ready to go upon your return.
Manage your cash flow with invoice financing
If managing your cash flow is a concern and holding you back from taking a vacation, perhaps you should consider invoice financing. With this type of funding, you get paid sooner for your outstanding invoices without waiting 30, 60, or sometimes 90 days for your clients to pay up. If you’re not familiar with invoice financing, here’s how it works:
- Set up a Fundbox account online.
- Select to connect your bookkeeping app and, once approved, choose invoices you’d like to advance.
- Funds arrive in your designated bank account in as soon as one business day.
- Make weekly payments to Fundbox to repay the advance, plus a small fee. Weekly payments are made over a 12 or 24-week period—you can choose which length of time best suits you. Fees may vary, but you’ll always see your fee and weekly payment in the Fundbox dashboard.
One of the best things about invoice financing is that you can choose when you wish to use it and which invoices you’d like to clear. Another benefit: Invoice financing helps you get paid and manage cash flow gaps over the holidays. For you, this paves the way for a stress-free vacation.