One of the best ways to grow your business, whether you’re a solo-preneur or you have a thousand employees, is to actually plan vacations, and when necessary, force your people to take them. We, as Americans, are scandalous at not taking vacations. We have given up millions of vacation days a year. And as human beings, we really cannot function well without serious downtime and play time. Interestingly, research has discovered most small businesses that die due to embezzlement or insider theft get taken in by long term employees. These trusted employees start embezzling small amounts that become larger and larger, and most of these employees were the loyal linchpins who never took a vacation.
Also, by sending your payroll, your sales, your HR people, your legal counsel, or your IT guy out on vacation, you get to see how your company runs without them. They are going to leave at some point, and the vacation is a great way to give them a break as well as for you to learn as a business owner how critical they are.
In addition, there are other benefits for those that take vacations. We are human beings and we need to take care of our bodies. At least once a year, take a minimum of a week, preferably two, off from work with no cell phone and no email. Go read books. Go get involved with your spouse, your kids, whatever else. Take a complete break, and let your people do the same.
I can also tell you that I have sent every one of my employees out on vacations this year, and whatever I have spent on their vacations, they come back with a tenfold ROI.