School is out for the summer, and it’s time to start planning all those fun activities that the typical American family enjoys. Whether that’s taking the kids to Disneyland or enjoying a week away with your spouse on a tropical beach, you deserve to relax. But when you are a small business owner, it often feels like your business is running you and not the other way around. During the first couple of years after you launch, it’s likely that you’ll work a pretty hectic schedule and find it difficult to get away for some down time. Unfortunately, that’s not a sustainable way to operate over the long run.
If you’re like many of our FranNet DFW clients, one of the reasons you started or purchased a business in the first place is to have more control over your time. If you can’t take vacations, enjoy long weekends, and spend time with family or friends, then you haven’t really achieved your dream. What’s holding you back from taking time away?
The Management Mindset
Many owners discover that they are working in the business instead of working on the business. These folks are having a hard time letting go off the day-to-day operations and delegating appropriately. However, the key to long-term success is focusing on the big picture and having a strategic role rather than an immediate supervisory one. This can be tough for people who purchased a business after being in a second tier leadership position in a corporation for many years. They still have that old mindset, when they need to start addressing operations from a higher leadership perspective—like a CEO instead of a middle manager.
To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a fantastic manager (especially since it will help you hire good managers for your business). It’s just that new skills and perspective are required to be an owner. You need to be clear headed, taking calculated risks knowing that you are responsible for the fate of your business but that you are not in this alone.
Questions to Ask about Why You Are Avoiding Vacation
One of the reasons for choosing a franchise model is that it has well-defined roles built in. Find the right staff, and you should be able to step away and trust the processes and people to keep things running. If you feel uncertain or uncomfortable about leaving the business on “autopilot” for a little while, consider why that is.
- Are you just in the habit of being “on” all the time? That’s when you really know it’s time to take a break.
- Is there something you do in the business on a routine basis that your staff hasn’t yet been trained to do? How fast can they learn it?
- Do you lack clarity on any aspect of the operations of your business? It’s time to look at the franchise manual/training again and firm up those weak areas.
- What level of contact should you maintain while you are away? Will checking in once a day give you enough mental freedom to be willing to take a vacation? Make a deal with yourself to expand your comfort zone by being somewhat unavailable before you try going completely off the radar.
- Have you considered likely scenarios versus worst case scenarios? What could really happen if you were unreachable for a few days? Would it be fixable? If so, take a deep breath and make the plunge. You’ll survive!
- Is revenue still an issue? This problem may take longer to resolve, but taking time to recharge will actually give you fresh perspective on ways to turn your business around. Postponing pleasure and relaxation indefinitely is actually the worst thing you can do.
What plans do you have for your summer? Maybe you’re not a business owner yet but you are considering options for a change. You might use a little of your downtime to start the process of exploring franchising. It’s a free “staycation” that lets you travel to the future in your mind. With FranNet DFW as your tour guide, it’s sure to be quite a trip!