Monday, July 28, 2014

Time off

     Free daily tips, information and advice for small business
     from personal experience--been there, done that in small business.

     Taking a vacation was always difficult for me. All my businesses were set up so that they could run without me. But something else was afoot.

     I grew up on a dairy farm. It was 24/7/365. I developed a formidable work ethic. Today, if I'm not doing something, I feel like I'm wasting time. It's the same with most people who run a business.

     In running my businesses, I never hesitated taking an afternoon off or disappearing for a long weekend. I didn't call in, but I worried. My employees could always reach me by phone if they ran into a problem they could not solve. That rarely happened. 

     Example: Mike started a small business running a computer repair shop. Gradually he expanded and provided additional services. He would go to their offices, install new computers and software, network them and train their employees. Soon, Mike had three employees and a service van on the road. Then he broke his leg. He was laid up for a month, and he was faced with running his business from bed. He was constantly on the phone, directing his employees at every turn. Tired and exasperated, he shouted at an employee one day to handle the problem himself. It was an eye-opener for Mike. Not only did the employee handle the problem, he did not call Mike again until the next day. Mike learned a valuable lesson--depend on your employees, and they'll handle most problems themselves. 

     Many of you already have employees, or you will have them as you grow. Train them how to handle problems and how to handle customers. Then let them make their own decisions. To get the best out of an employee, you must put them on their own.

     Don't wait until you break your leg to take some time off. You need time away from your daily business grind to clear your head, let your thoughts roam, and think through some fresh ideas. 

     Go ahead. Take that time off--even if it's only for a long weekend. See how your business operates without you.

     My lifetime of business experience comes to you daily in these write-ups. Over the years, I have founded and grown small businesses of my own, and I have counseled and worked with and written up thousands of different small businesses. 

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