How to take a break from your business without losing customers

Article How to take a break from your business without losing customers

In this helpful article, we take a look at the top 5 tips on how to take a break from your business without losing customers.

With the holidays just around the corner, we know you need a break ASAP, and you deserve one! Here’s how to take a break from your business without things falling apart while you’re gone.

You’re stressed, frustrated, and feeling run down. Your body and mind are telling you that it’s time to take a break ASAP if there’s any hope of avoiding burnout.

But as a small or large business owner or even as a solopreneur, it often feels like your business is your whole world — and if you were to take some time away, you’re worried that everything would burn to the ground in your absence.

That’s the thing: By not taking a break, you might be hurting yourself and your work. Taking a break and taking care of yourself can be one of the best things you do for your business.

Here’s how to keep your customers happy and your business running smoothly while you’re away.

1. Figure out how long of a break you need

Before you can plan for your break, you need to figure out how long you’ll be away.

For some people, taking a break might mean a long weekend, while others may think of a month-long vacation. The length of your break depends on a few things:

  • How much time do you need to recharge? If you’re dealing with the mental or physical effects of burnout, you may need some extra time to take care of your body and mind.
  • How long you can realistically be away from your business (and what resources do you have to keep it going while you’re away)?
  • Who (and where) your customers are?

The length of your break may depend on the time of year, too. While there’s no “perfect time” to take a break, if your business or industry has seasonal lulls, those are the easiest targets for some time off.

If you’ve been running your business for a while now and are considering taking (or need) a longer break, you could choose to take a sabbatical, which typically lasts anywhere from one month to two years.

People who take sabbaticals do so for a variety of reasons, but the most common include getting away from work stress and improving their health — mental and physical.

Here’s the caveat: If you do decide that a longer sabbatical — over two months, for example — is the right choice for you, and you don’t have a team to delegate work to, it may make sense to completely shut down your business operations during that time.

Otherwise, you may be tempted to constantly check your email, take client calls, or even abandon your break altogether.

For the rest of this article, we’ll focus on how to take a shorter break from your business without feeling like everything will implode while you’re gone. The first step: Communicate with your customers.

2. Communicate with your customers

Once you decide how long and when your break will be, start communicating with your customers.

As we talked about earlier, there’s a ton of pressure on entrepreneurs to live a no-days-off, always-grinding lifestyle.

That pressure is likely why 43% of freelancers have felt the need to hide their vacation from their clients.

You might be tempted to disappear without letting your customers know where you’ve gone, leaving them in the hands of your autoresponder, marketing automation tools, and virtual assistant — but that’s a surefire way to lose trust (and customers).

Instead, communicate your plans early and often. You don’t have to share the exact reasons you’re taking time off, but you also don’t need to shy away from admitting you need a break.

You’re human, and your customers shouldn’t hold that against you. They might even appreciate you more for it.

86% of people believe transparency from businesses is more important than ever before, and when brands develop a history of transparency, nearly nine in ten people are more likely to give them second chances after a bad experience.

3. Automate what you can

Your business doesn’t have to grind to a halt just because you’re on vacation.

These days, there’s so much technology available to keep your business running while you’re away, that you can more or less build a self-running business.

Email and marketing automation tools can help you stay in contact with your potential and current customers while you’re away — and they can be a big help even when you’re not on vacation, too.

4. Actually take a break

This tip is straightforward, but it also might be the trickiest one to master: Take real, actual time off.

For your break to truly help you recharge, you have to commit to stepping away from work.

This can be hard for anyone, let alone a business owner or solopreneur. 92% of freelancers work on vacation, and 60% feel they must work while vacationing.

Give yourself a real break. If you can swing it, try to unplug from technology, too. Take some time off of social media, don’t check your email, and give your eyes a break from staring at screens (what feels like) 24/7.

As an entrepreneur, learning how to stop being busy can be a real challenge — but it can have real benefits long after your break ends. Relaxation and detaching from work have been proven to positively influence our health and wellness even after we return from vacation.

And speaking of what happens after vacation . . . how do you stop the cycle of burnout and desperately needing a break from repeating itself?

5. Set yourself up for success moving forward

After your break is over, it’s time to set yourself up for success going forward, so you don’t end up burnt out or buried under work.

To build a good work-life balance, you need to figure out why you’re feeling burnt out and in need of a break. Taking a break can help you refocus and refresh, but if you don’t address the root cause, your vacation will just be a bandaid fix.

That’s likely why 40% of workers said the positive effects of vacation lasted for only a few days after returning to work, and 24% said those effects dissipated immediately

Are you working too many hours? Taking on too many clients? Stuck doing tasks you hate?

Luckily, there are tools and techniques to help you handle all of the above, from productivity tools to hiring help. If you find yourself buried under tasks that take up too much time, consider hiring a freelancer or marketing agency like ourselves 😊

Outsourcing might seem like an unnecessary expense, but the benefits can outweigh the costs:

  • Bring in an expert to tackle the tasks you don’t have time for (or really don’t enjoy doing)
  • Free up your time to focus on growing your business
  • Have someone on your team who can handle things when you’re away

There’s no shame in bringing on outside help. 70% of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have hired a freelancer, and 81% of those SMBs plan on working with one again. We invite you to contact any of our clients to find out firsthand the benefits we have brought to their businesses!

Outsourcing can shorten your to-do list, but it can’t change your mentality. That’s where self-care and accountability come into play.

In addition to being good for your mind and body, taking care of yourself can make you more productive.

When you’re protecting yourself from burnout, self-care also means holding yourself accountable to deadlines and goals.

Here’s the bottom line:

Set a schedule for yourself that prioritizes self-care and taking regular breaks, even if that’s just a day off every once in a while.

When you take care of yourself, your business will thrive, too.

How to take a well-deserved break from your business

If you feel yourself careening toward the edge of burnout, it’s time to give yourself the break you need to recharge and recalibrate your work-life balance.

And you can do that without upsetting your customers or shutting your whole business down. Here’s how:

  • Figure out how long of a break you need based on how you’re feeling and what’s realistic for your business.
  • Let your customers know when you’ll be away. Give them plenty of notice so you can square away any last-minute questions.
  • Automate what you can to keep things running while you’re away, from emails to your course content.
  • Take your break. Do your best to unplug.
  • Put plans and practices in place to avoid burnout moving forward — including (of course) taking plenty of breaks. As well as outsourcing what you can (WE ARE HERE TO HELP)
  • Take care of yourself and take a break from your business. Your mental and physical well-being deserve it.

If you would like to learn more about how our services can assist you and your business we invite you to contact us today!

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We populate & manage the online community with your business’ brand identity for you. All in an effort to develop and monitor your business’ success and growth by keeping you in front of mind in the consumer’s markets.

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