self-employed http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6835/all en-US Self-Employed? Tips for Taking Time Off Without Trauma http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vacation.jpg" alt="People on vacation" title="People on vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation days from a traditional employer are almost as valuable as the paycheck itself. In fact, since becoming a <a href="http://www.1099mom.com/">work-at-home mom</a> in 2007, I haven&rsquo;t really ever taken a real vacation. Sure, I was forced to check my online meetings and frequent business trips at the door of the hospital when I gave birth to my fifth kid in 2010 &mdash; but other than that, time off has been limited.</p> <p>You may be wondering, then, &ldquo;What makes Linsey qualified to tell me how to take off time from my own business? She rarely does herself.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s amazing what you can learn from your mistakes, however. And so I give you a brief list of the wisdom I&rsquo;ve learned to getting some much needed me-time, even if your small business cash flow limits the &ldquo;when,&rdquo; &ldquo;where,&rdquo; and &ldquo;how often.&rdquo; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-office-habits-to-keep-when-working-from-home">5 Office Habits to Keep When Working From Home</a>)</p> <h3>Look Beyond the Week Off</h3> <p>Some traditionalists claim that you need at least three days away from the iPhone, laptop, and email to truly get into the zen mode that vacations are famous for. I call &ldquo;bull&rdquo; on that theory. The length of time it takes you to get out of &ldquo;work mode&rdquo; and into &ldquo;fun mode&rdquo; has more to do with your personality and boundaries than any industry standard.</p> <p>If I personally know that I am having two days off with no work duties, I take that time and have the best 24 hours I can imagine. Given an entire week at that rate, it may actually be too much and I might never return to my grown-up responsibilities. Others will need far more than six days to let their hair down. That may be a sign that you are wired too tightly into your business and frequent, shorter breaks can help you to learn to appreciate the chunks of life in between your working tasks. Whatever your tendency, seven straight days of vacation can be too costly (both in time and money) to commit to. Don&rsquo;t overlook the value of the short break, and see how you can work on ways to learn to enjoy 24-48 hours of peace. (Like a weekend. Remember?)</p> <h3>Live in the Real World</h3> <p>Looking forward to leaving your online business to pursue &ldquo;other&rdquo; online entertainment endeavors?&nbsp;Try to avoid this, if possible. Yes, role playing games, Facebook connections, shopping for the best online deals, and watching hours upon hours of old <em>Firefly</em> episodes on Netflix can be great ways to unwind, but if your small business requires you to stare at screens all day, your body (and mind) may really need a break from being so plugged-in.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t feel you have to abandon your <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/09/6-great-ways-to-find-online-communities.html">online communities</a> completely, but do try to schedule some vacation time without your gaming buddies. Go outside.&nbsp;See a new &ldquo;real&rdquo; place. Breathe the air and remember what it&rsquo;s like to live in the slow crawl that is tangible humanity. You&rsquo;ll have plenty of time to work on that wicked case of carpal tunnel when you return to work.</p> <h3>Budget for Your Break</h3> <p>If you really want to take a short intermission from your small business, make sure you plan for the interruption in revenue. You can either work ahead of time to earn that money before you go, or set aside a chunk of &ldquo;vacay revenue&rdquo; to help you through in the down time. (I actually prefer to set aside a chunk of money and NOT try to scramble to make up the revenue I will lose. My work schedule is murderous enough without having to try to earn EXTRA before I leave.) A friend of mine does a mixture of both, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/when-to-outsource-for-your-small-business">outsources the work</a> she would have done while on vacation to a friend. She earns 20-40% of her regular fees and can walk away and enjoy her break.</p> <h3>Let People Know Where You&rsquo;ll Be</h3> <p>If you work with hundreds of people in your business, you don&rsquo;t need to email them all individually. A nice &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll be on vacation from this date to this date&rdquo; will suffice. (Be sure to use BCC, okay?) Otherwise, an out-of-office reply lets only those who need you know that you&rsquo;ll be back and to hold any important new business until you return. (No need to alert the world that you&rsquo;re gone unless they are actually looking for you.) Be sure to avoid this common <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you">out-of-office reply faux pas</a>, however.</p> <p>Just the fact that you&rsquo;re looking to take a recess should be commended. There is much to gain from stepping back from your small business and much to lose by ignoring the need to reconnect with friends, family, or just yourself. Whether you see the world, or just hit a new local eatery, you&rsquo;ll never regret the time off, provided you look ahead and put it into your plan!</p> <p><em>What fun breaks have you taken from your small business?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings">3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship self-employed small business time off vacation Mon, 25 Jul 2011 09:48:05 +0000 Linsey Knerl 633295 at http://www.wisebread.com The three secrets to a successful family business http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-secrets-to-a-successful-family-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-three-secrets-to-a-successful-family-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/familybusiness.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone sees the family business as a safety net. If you fail in the corporate world, you can always put your talents to work at your dad's shop or snag a few hours at your uncle's place. But if your family doesn't prepare, that safety net likely won't be around for the next generation.</p> <p>Family businesses are at the heart of corporate America. While you might think of a neighborhood bakery or restaurant, family shops are not just mom and pop shops. You might have heard of the Maloofs with the Palm Casino and Sacramento Kings, the Heinz family, or the Blocks of H&amp;R Block- families are the foundation of billion-dollar businesses. Most of us are likely a long way from a global empire, but if you want to be the one of the three businesses which will survive to the second generation (from<a target="_blank" href="http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1760"> the Family Firm Institute</a>), you should focus on the following three areas: individualization, Internet marketing, and succession planning.</p> <p><strong>To each his own </strong></p> <p>You may work in your father or mother's business, but that doesn't mean you share their talents. They might love numbers or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068128/">be a junk dealer in Los Angeles</a>, but odds are you're going to be good at something different than your parents. And that means, it's your job to carve out your niche in the business. Find your talent or passion and discover how to apply it to the family business. Maybe it's <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0259446/">drawing menus for the Greek restaurant</a> your family runs or launching a financial services add-on service to your family's sales company.</p> <p>The key here is that you have a personal goal that you can achieve and the freedom to pursue your own dreams within your family's business. That goal will make you work harder and feel even more invested in setting things up for the next generation. So, establish your place and carve out your own niche.</p> <p><strong>Take your message online </strong></p> <p>People want to work with family businesses. They like knowing that a person will answer the phone and a name is attached to a service. So, it's your job to do everything in your power to help them find you and your family's business. There are<a target="_blank" href="http://www.freewebsitetemplates.com/"> template websites available for free</a> and you can get online within a week. You should consider maintaining a corporate blog to help establish your family's brand and allow people to connect with your family. Tell your family's story, the history of the company. People want to hear about you, in your own words. Often, families are unwilling to sell their best asset- themselves. Tell people why they should do business with you. Guess what? They probably will...</p> <p><strong>The children are your future </strong></p> <p>According to a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2007/06/25/daily38.html">study from Oregon State University</a>, fewer than 30 percent of business owners have put a succession plan in place. And that can lead to a difficult situation when a family member retires or passes away. Who will take over as head of the business? Who knows the right contacts and has the insitutional knowledge stored inside the brain of your father or mother? You have to ask these questions and get the answers in place well before the first generation is ready to step down.</p> <p>When you start looking at the future of your business, then you're thinking like the Heinz family and the Blocks- and you're one generation closer to a billion-dollar business.</p> <p><em>Got any other tips? How has your family found success or just the patience to work together? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jonathan-bender">Jonathan Bender</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-secrets-to-a-successful-family-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-get-money-for-your-business">16 Ways To Get Money For Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-three">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Three</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/business-plan-basics">Business Plan Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/veteran-business-owners-benefit-from-a-marketing-makeover">Veteran Business Owners Benefit from a Marketing Makeover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship entrepreneur family business self-employed Tue, 17 Jul 2007 12:21:22 +0000 Jonathan Bender 847 at http://www.wisebread.com