Benchmark Business Group

Planning to have a life outside your business

January 7, 2013

Most people take this time of year to talk about resolutions and planning. You know, the weight you’re going to lose, the new business you will bring in, the weight you’re going to lose, upgrading your business facilities, the weight you’re going to lose, and so on. In the context of your business, planning is usually all about revenues and profits, staff, equipment needs, and even how you as the business owner are intending to use your time more efficiently.  What about you?  Aren’t you one of your business’ most important assets?  Isn’t it important to your business, let alone yourself and your family, to maintain your health and your sanity?  Did you not go into business in part to create more freedom and a more enjoyable life?  How is that working?

This is a not-so-subtle reminder to plan for your time off. Plan some short days. Make plans for a vacation later in the year. Take the time you need to put your work/life balance back in order. Encourage your staff to do the same and they will thank you for it.

In fact, this is a plan of action that appeals to all parties—you, your employees, and your business. Success lies in ensuring that the business is in the proper frame of mind to manage requests and subsequently, the actual time off.

  1. Scheduling – Create the schedule that best suits the goals you wish to accomplish. This will also allow for the scheduling of your time away from the business and help to better arrange the staff needs well in advance. This is also an opportunity to build the seasonality into your scheduling.
  2. PTO (Paid Time Off) Policy – The business should have a clear and concise PTO policy that all employees are aware of and have been trained in how to use. This means having a form employees use to request time off. When approving PTO requests, be cognizant of the peaks and valleys in the business and when they occur.
  3. Systems and Training – Review your systems and staff training to ensure that the business will continue to operate efficiently and effectively without the continual presence of certain people, including you.  Make your business more systems-dependent and less people-dependent.

As the leader in your business, you owe it to yourself and the business to recharge your batteries and just get away from time to time. You do neither the business nor your employees any good if you run yourself into the ground.

In the end, this is about making sure that you and your employees are looking for opportunities to step away from the rat race and recognize that there is more to life than work, and do something about it. American author Clarence Day wrote, “The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.” What needs to be done in your business in 2013 to ensure you and your staff maintain a healthy work/life balance?

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