When you run a small business, too often you are the CEO, head of sales and even sometimes, the receptionist, so relaxing in the summertime is no easy task.
I am not saying it is easy for our corporate cousins either, but I would venture that it is at least easier with a secretary, support systems and paid vacation time. For many small-business people, time off means time unpaid, not to mention work undone.
But all is not lost. There are ways to get away and still be productive. Essentially, it is a two-step process:
Delegate, or Learn How to
For the small business person to successfully get away and still have the office be productive, it is crucial that he or she delegate some essential work.
First, you need to train someone to do your essential functions -- not all, of course, but the key ones. This is necessary in any case, so that should you ever miss work unexpectedly, things still get done.
Next, put someone in charge of key info so that they don't call you when the computer crashes -- passwords, that sort of thing.
Finally, assign some projects that need to get done so that when you return, instead of there being more work for you to do, there is actually less.
Next, you must:
Take Advantage of Your Technology
Simply put, if you want to get away in the summer and still be productive, you have to run your technology and not let it run you.
For instance I love my
BlackBerry as much as anyone, but sometimes, you just have to turn it off. Ditto your
iPhone, or whatever have you. Turn it on when you need to call the home office in Milwaukee, but otherwise, take a break.
Beyond that, consider taking the time necessary to really learn some of the tricks your software offers. You might be amazed at what you can do and the time you can save.
Vista has a cool function I love called Remote Desktop. This tool allows you to go to another PC, check in with and manipulate your office computer, make sure all is well and then logoff. It is a great way to stay in touch.
The point is, getting away is possible if you plan ahead.
Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer, author and USA TODAY columnist. His latest book is the
Small Business Bible
. He has spoken around the world about entrepreneurship, including at the United Nations, and has been seen on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC,
The O?Reilly Factor
, and many other television and radio shows. He maintains a Website at www.MrAllBiz.com.