Small Business TipsIt’s crazy how fast the summer has flown by, isn’t it? In the blink of an eye, it’s almost the end of August, and back-to-school ads are everywhere. But fear not! We’ve got some small business tips for you to help you make the most of the quality summer days still ahead!

Six Small Business Tips for Enjoying the End of Summer

Balancing your business, home, family, and vacation/down time isn’t easy, but it’s essential we spend some time recharging our batteries. Here are just a few of the techniques I use to balance my work and personal life.

1. Disconnect after work hours.

When the workday is done, so are you. Or you should be!

There will be exceptions to the rule, but overall you should set an example for your clients and employees. If you’re online all the time, or sending emails at midnight, they will feel obligated to do the same.

Sticking to set office hours isn’t always possible. Essential staff should be available in case of a late night PR emergency, online community issue, or last minute client request. That said, it’s up to you to provide some type of structure around when your day starts and ends, and ensure colleagues aren’t checking emails from the beach!

2. Come up for air.

As small business tips go, this one is really important! Yes, being productive is essential, but so is giving your brain a break. To deliver your best work, you need to make sure you’re not too demanding of yourself. Recognize when it’s time to hit pause.

Three mornings a week, I do Pilates. I take breaks throughout my day to get my favourite decaf Americano at my neighbourhood coffee shop, or take our team mascot (my pup Maggie) out for a walk (or both!). And when the workday has wrapped, I make time for what is important to me, like spending time with family and friends.

3. Don’t spend too much time on social media.

Owning a digital business means I spend a lot of time researching, scanning and responding to social media activity, both for Spodek & Co. and clients’ businesses. However, I can also be guilty at times of scrolling through my personal accounts, or getting lost on Instagram. Dipping in and out is fine, but just remember, as summer winds to a close, the less time spent on personal social means more time you can spend enjoying your favourite patio or by the pool!

If you’re looking to take your social media time management to the next level, check out Facebook and Instagram’s new time management tools. Not only can they tell you how much time you’ve been spending on their platforms, but you can also set up time restraints to keep your time on social media productive.

4. Celebrate your wins.

Of course, wins are subjective. A win could be getting through a really tough day and shutting down an hour earlier to get outside. It could also be signing a new client or finally making it over a business hurdle. Big or small, make sure you take the time to recognize both your and your team’s hard work and celebrate what you’ve accomplished.

I pamper myself with mani-pedis, and reward myself by booking dinner and a movie with friends. I also love attending live concerts or the theatre (especially musical theatre!) with my family.

5. Book actual vacation time.
I think we can all agree (more often than not) that weekends aren’t enough. We get caught up in household chores, start new projects, or entertain friends. We usually don’t take the time we need to relax. Let your team support you, and make time for the vacation you need.

I recently snuck away to beautiful P.E.I for a short getaway. Yes, there were times where I needed to be present as a business owner, and I was able to do that easily due to the virtual nature of my business. But for the most part, my team was able to keep all the balls in the air while I was enjoying my retreat.

As long as you prepare yourself and your staff in advance, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to step away from your business and enjoy a little holiday.

6. Keep your priorities in check.
Stay focused on what projects or commitments deserve your attention the most. By pushing through the hard work first, not only will you be able to cross it off your list of to-dos, but you’ll breeze through the smaller tasks that follow.

If you’re going on vacation, tie up any loose ends so you’re confident your business and team can continue running smoothly, and you can relax.

*Pro tip: Have a ready-response email set up for when you’re out of office. This way, the person trying to contact you knows you’re away, and when to expect a response. Include your return date, who to contact in the meantime, and how to reach you in an emergency.

Small Business Tips: Bonus

Join The Game Plan for Small Business Growth – my new private group for small business owners – it’s free and there’s a lot of valuable information for members!

Enjoy the Rest of Your Summer!

So, make a point to soak up the last of the summer heat. Get outside and enjoy bonfires with family, patios with friends, and some good old R&R.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these simple yet important small business tips. Try and put some of them into practice as we head into fall.  Remember: your business relies on you in order to stay up and running. But you won’t be much help if you run yourself into the ground in the process.

How do you balance the success of your business and summertime fun? Have you vacationed this summer? I’d love to hear from you!