Taking Time Off As A Small Business Owner

Are you scheduling time off as a small business owner? If aren’t already doing this, then you should definitely make sure you are setting aside some time throughout the year to vacation or even just take a few days off here and there. Reports indicate that 14% of business owners take a vacation – every two to three years. Some rarely even take off time when sick. 

Stress can impacts us in many ways – and skipping on vacations and giving yourself breaks can can allow stress to pile up. Vacations and time away from your business will benefit you physically and mentally. Many of begin their own business wanted to have a better work life balance than a traditional job, but failing to give yourself vacation time begins to deter you from that balance. Keep reading why taking vacations and time off is important and tips for making it happen. 

Why is taking time off important as a small business owner?

If you were working for an employer, you would either have the option to take unpaid time off or paid vacation days to help with workflife balance. So why wouldn’t you do the same running your own business? 

I know it can be hard to find the time for yourself when you’re a one person show – but taking time for yourself is important for the longevity of your business. Constantly working and not taking vacations can quickly lead to burn out. It is good to step away from things for a period of time so you can take a break, relax, and care for yoruself. It doesn’t need to be a luxury or long vacation, but making sure you are scheduling breaks and time off is going to help you be in the best shape (physically and mentally) to keep your business going. 

Tips for Taking Time Off

Schedule Vacations for Slower Periods

Once you’ve had a couple years of running your business, you’ll begin to know when your slower periods are. For most photographers that live in areas with colder weather – it is expected to be a little slower in the winter months unless you have a studio space or shooting lifestyle home sessions. If you know your slower periods, you can try scheduling vacations for that time since it will be easier to take off time.

Set Boundaries During Vacations and Time Off

This is a very important step of taking vacations. You will need to decide how connected or available you would like to be while you’re taking time off. Do you want to be completely unplugged? Maybe you only respond to messages for 1 hour out of the day or every couple days. You should be able to separate yourself from work at least to some extent while you’re away – and enjoy yourself!

Let Clients Know You Will Be Gone
It is okay to take breaks and step away – but you should let your clients know when they should expect you to be gone in case they try reaching out during that time. Give them a heads up via personal email or newletter.

Don’t forget to let your leads know you are away as well and when they should expect to hear back from you. You can set up automatic lead responses with your leads page form in Iris.

Use Automation to Keep Business Moving

Having certain processes in your business automated will help you keep business moving along even though you are relaxing with family. A few ways to automate your business to save you time and keep things running smoothly while you’re gone:

Online booking to schedule clients easily
Workflows to send automated emails
Invoices with payment schedules

Coming from someone who used to work in a very stressful job with poor worklife balance – I definitely value and priortize workflow balance running my own business now.

Using automation with Iris Works has made taking time off for myself while running my business much easier! I can set up my booking calendars, add them to my website or release them for seasonal mini sessions and book clients while I’m enjoying myself or spending some time awy with my family. The automated emails help me keep my business moving while I’m gone because I know my clients will still get the necessary information they need before their upcoming session. It’s almost like having my own assistant. 

Megan A.

Photographer, Iris User

You may also consider scheduling posts for social media – some businesses like to do this to make it seem they are still busy or at least keep up with their social media presence and the alogorithm. Later and Planoly are great for scheduling posts for social media. 

Tell us how you manage scheduling time for yourself while running a business!



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