As a small business owner, you may think that taking a vacation is almost impossible without having your smartphone or computer nearby. However, it’s important that you do take time off and, in this article, we’ll explain how to take time off as a small business owner.

Statistics show that only 57% of small business owners planned a vacation each year. Additionally, of the small business owners that do take a vacation, 85% admit to working while on vacation, and 60% check in at least once a day. However, it’s important to understand that just because you own a small business, does not mean that you can’t take a vacation and enjoy time away from your business.

The main reasons small business owners do not take vacations are financial- but Nolan Accounting can help. We offer accounting, payroll, bookkeeping, and tax prep services for small business owners in Southeast Wisconsin. We can take this burden off of your shoulders, so you don’t have to worry about it.

5 Tips for Taking Time Off

Below, we’ll explore 5 tips for taking time off as a small business owner:

  1. Learn to delegate
  2. Define “emergency”
  3. Do a test run
  4. Decide how available you will be
  5. Learn to let go

Learn to Delegate

Often, small business owners have a hard time handing over the reins to someone else- but it’s the only way you will be able to take a vacation. You must learn to delegate. Do not just dump tasks on others but give them the authority to act while you’re away.

Choose one or a few people to keep things going while you’re out and give clear guidance on what they are responsible for. You must communicate to them what is expected of them and make a list of important information and procedures they need to know to keep everything running as usual.

Allowing your management team to think for themselves- even though they may make mistakes- is a good thing. It proves to them that you trust them, and it allows them to develop their leadership skills.

Define “emergency”

Take time to have a discussion with your team about what constitutes an emergency. Be sure to write it down as well. This will help them understand when they should contact you and when they should handle it. Perhaps there’s a particular client that you would prefer to deal with or maybe you don’t want to be notified unless there is a natural disaster.

Do a test run

Try doing a test run before you go on vacation, or even several. This will help you and your team be confident that they can handle things. The day after the test run, do a debrief and allow them to ask questions or bring up any concerns they might have.

Decide how available you’ll be

You may find that you can enjoy yourself more if you’re at least somewhat available- but you want to limit those times so that you feel like you’re actually on vacation. Choose a specific time, perhaps at the beginning and end of each day to check email and even do a quick call to your team to check in. Make sure they are aware of the problem-solving protocols, including you being the last resort in the chain of command.

Learn to let go

It is very important that you don’t attempt to micromanage from afar because that will only undermine your team. If you’re not able to trust them while you’re away, you might want to get a new team. Also, when you try to micromanage while you’re on vacation, you can’t truly enjoy yourself and you won’t come back refreshed. Learn to let things go and trust that your team will do the right things.


If you’re like most business owners, you probably feel like you can’t take a vacation- but this simply isn’t true. You need to take a vacation and get away from it all just like everyone else, otherwise, you’ll get burnt out. If the financials are what is preventing you from taking your vacation, consider hiring Nolan Accounting. We work with businesses in Southeast Wisconsin and can handle all of your accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, and tax prep needs.