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More Small Biz Owners Skip Summer Break: Survey

By Betty Wang, JD on August 27, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

More small business owners are putting their summer vacations or breaks on hold these days, reports The Associated Press. According to a survey conducted in the spring by American Express, many entrepreneurs who took a summer vacation last year are now opting to work this year instead.

Of the survey's participants, 49 percent said they planned to take off at least one full week this summer. That's down from 54 percent last year, and a high of 67 percent in 2006, the year before the recession began.

Why are most business owners choosing to skip summer vacation?

Too Busy, Too New

According to the AP, small business owners are skipping their summer breaks in an effort to keep their business' momentum going. For many, sales this year are showing slow but sure signs of recovery, and business owners don't want to step out in the middle of all that.

Also, with newer companies like startups, owners find it even more difficult to take a vacation -- typically because they are so busy taking care of such a young and still fairly vulnerable company.

In a nutshell, small business owners don't want to miss out on any opportunities or leave right in the middle of a what could potentially be a huge growth period.

It's Never Too Late to Take a Break

While the right timing may be crucial, so are self-care and decompression. Small business owners should and still can take a summer vacation if they need one. You could come back even more refreshed and ready to dive into your work. Keep in mind some legal tips, though, such as:

  • Assigning and delegating tasks. For tasks that are unavoidable, even while on vacation, make sure you take the time to train your best worker to take care of this, so you don't return to any unpleasant surprises.
  • Making a checklist. Include automatic email replies and prescheduled posts for your social media outlets. Also be sure to address all other pressing business matters on your calendar to avoid any liability issues.
  • Informing employees about your company's vacation policy. If you get to take a break, then your employees may want to as well. Remind them about your vacation policy and whether unused vacation time "rolls over," keeping in mind that federal law does not require business owners to offer paid vacations.

Remember, even though summer is winding down, there's always time for a vacation. It's also only appropriate to end with this mantra as a reminder: Work hard, play hard.

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