Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Getting a Company Ready for Vacation

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Getting a Company Ready for Vacation

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Look under "v" in the index of just about any how-to guide for running a small business, and you probably won't find the word "vacation." What the books don't tell you is that vacations are critical if you're a business owner, and so is getting your company ready for your time off.

For a new entrepreneur or business owner, the idea of taking time off can be scary. What if a new customer comes calling when you're away? What if there's a problem that needs to be resolved and you're thousands of miles away?

People who run small businesses and also advise other entrepreneurs say taking a vacation is actually a sound business practice. Even if you stay in touch with the office via phone or e- mail, and it's likely you will, just getting away and having a change of scenery can refresh you and give you some new ideas.

Getting your business ready for your vacation can help relieve the stress of being away.

Robert Spiegel, an author who runs a freelance writing business out of his Albuquerque, N.M., home, says he usually starts planning for a vacation six weeks ahead of time.

"I'm actually in the process of doing that right now," he said. "I'm arranging the projects I'm taking on around that, creating spaces in between some projects or getting ahead" on others. He likened the process to an employee clearing his or her desk off before going away.

Susan Carter, who wrote How to Make Your Business Run Without You, suggests owners let customers and clients know in advance that they'll be away. For people who work alone and whose business involves providing a service, she recommends e-mails or phone calls to customers.

Storeowners should post signs a few weeks in advance letting the public know the shop will be closed, she said.

For business owners who routinely handle emergencies, such as a plumber, Carter also suggests asking a friendly competitor to provide backup services if needed, and to let customers know someone's available in much the same way that a doctor or dentist might. …

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