Small business owners really do have time for vacations. Here’s why.

July 02, 2014

Small business ownership doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice vacation time. Read on for why vacations are essential for small business owners.

Summer is in full swing: Kids are out of school, beaches are crowded and temperatures climb so high all you want to do is hang out on a shady beach.  But you’re a small business owner, you can’t take a vacation! Or can you?  Even more importantly, should you?  The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Small business owners should take a summer vacation. National Institutes of Health research has proven that when people are under chronic stress, their ability to think through goal-oriented decisions disappears, leaving them able to make only reactive decisions – not the kind of thinking that helps guide small business strategy.  Vacations reduce stress because they give your brain pause, time to take in new ideas and ruminate on old ones.

Maybe the biggest benefit of vacation boils down to one word: sleep!  Just a week of being able to wake up when you want – rather than when the clock tells you to – can make you feel like a new person, reinvigorating your passion for running your small business. Your vacation doesn’t have to be a three-week jaunt to Rome or seven days of hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Just the act of changing up your routine, even if it’s three days at a bed and breakfast in the next town over, can dramatically increase your energy levels and creativity.  We all get into ruts. Vacations are rut busters, exposing you to new experiences and shaking the dust off your routine. If you have staff, be sure to force them out of the office for a few days, too.  Skipping time off and working year-round is linked to increased chances of heart disease for both men and women, and stress-related health care costs an estimated $344 billion a year. According to the 2013 Sage Reinvention of Small Business Study, 43% of small business owners took less vacation time last year than in 2008, even though the economy was in arguably worse shape then.  Go on and help change this trend – plan your days off right now!