Taking a Break – How Three Types of Business Owners Deal With Vacationing

Every female business owner confronts the issue at some point in her career: to vacation or not to vacation? The answer to the question lies not only in whether she has enough time and money to take a few days, or even a couple of weeks, away from her business, but also, in whether her mindset will allow her to do so. Because each entrepreneur has her own set of beliefs, habits and characteristics, each entrepreneur will make different considerations when thinking about vacationing.

A recent study reveals there are five distinct types of women in business. Based on professional market research of more than 2,500 women in business, this study shows that each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article outlines three of the five types and provides tips for taking a break – and keeping business running smoothly meanwhile.

Jane Dough is an entrepreneur who enjoys running her business and generally, she makes a nice living. She is comfortable and determined in buying and selling, which may be why she’s five times more likely than the average female business owner to hit the million dollar mark. Jane Dough is clear in her priorities and may be intentionally and actively growing an asset-based or legacy business. It is estimated that 18% of women entrepreneurs fall in the category of Jane Dough.

Jane Dough is what many people would consider a “natural born entrepreneur.” She has a clear vision for her business, and is very successful by traditional standards. In fact, 15 percent of Jane Dough business owners own million-dollar-plus businesses, and 22 percent of the women in this group earn $100,000 per year or more. Members of this group report high levels of satisfaction with business ownership.

Jane Dough’s success and personal satisfaction are due to her ability to prioritize and to stay true to her boundaries. Therefore, she is very likely to make time to vacation – and to really be able to check out and relax. She may bring her laptop and check her e-mail from time to time, but her ability to stay true to her boundaries means she can step back from her business and take the time to truly enjoy herself.

One of Jane Dough’s challenges is that in her desire to achieve growth quickly, she may over-delegate authority. She may hand implementation entirely over to her team, trusting team members to plan and execute without significant input. Therefore, when it comes to vacationing, Jane Dough might provide team members with a to-do list and expect them to carry it through to completion before she returns. The speed with which this type of entrepreneur operates sometimes leaves team members in need of a little more clarity. So Jane Dough needs to be sure to slow down enough to provide detailed instructions and clear expectations before she turns off her phone. Then, once she’s gone, she needs to make herself available periodically so that her team members can get any answers they need.

Go Jane Go is passionate about her work and provides excellent service, so she has plenty of clients – so much so, she’s struggling to keep up with demand. At 14% of women in business, she may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she’s eager to make an impact on the world and she often struggles to say no. Because she wants to say yes to so many people, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. As a result, she may be running herself ragged and feeling guilty about neglecting herself and others who are important to her.

Despite the fact that Go Jane Go business owners take home the highest personal income of all the five entrepreneurial types, members of this group are the least likely to make time for themselves. In this case, vacationing often isn’t a function of finances; rather, it’s a function of the strict demands Go Jane Go makes on herself. Go Jane Go burns with a passion to help others, and she relishes knowing that she frequently accomplishes what few others could or would be willing to do. She utilizes her outstanding skills and abilities to tremendous advantage for others – but rarely takes the time to get clear on how she can leverage her gifts to create what she also wants. Go Jane Go often feels overwhelmed by the demands of others – and unappreciated as well. Still, because she fears that others won’t live up to her exacting standards, she has a tough time delegating work. For Go Jane Go, then, vacation may seem like a distant, impossible dream.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way – and it shouldn’t be that way. The first thing Go Jane Go business owners need to come to terms with is that when people feel more rested and happy, they possess more energy to meet their responsibilities. For Go Jane Go business owners, it is absolutely critical to define what, other than work, feeds them and gives them joy. If they don’t give time outside of work ample attention, they will crash and burn. One way to find time for self is to schedule it into the appointment book – literally – and to treat these appointments with the same dedication as the appointments dedicated to clients, friends, and the business. This is the only way to protect “self-time” for busy Go Jane Go entrepreneurs. Another option is to create “total unplug times,” during which the entrepreneur lets everyone know she is unavailable for an extended amount of time.

Go Jane Go entrepreneurs often report that they can’t get away because they have too many responsibilities. However, refusing to take time off means Go Jane Go and her family members suffer. Also, refusing to take time to recharge deprives the world of knowing Go Jane Go at her best because stress and exhaustion prevent her from performing well. If a real vacation isn’t possible now, she can at least schedule it six months from now, look forward to it, and then enjoy it.

Here are some examples of positive ways to think about vacationing:
• “My customers will respect me even more because my ability to leave the business with a capable team demonstrates to them that I have built a strong organization.”
• “This is a wonderful opportunity for my team to grow. I’ve trained them well and they are prepared to handle nearly every contingency.”
• “I have planned this vacation well in advance and I will make sure I take care of my customers’ needs before I go.”
• “I’ll come back rested and ready to perform at my absolute best. Everyone will benefit.”

Go Jane Go business owners will have more energy, and will see their work flow more effortlessly if they put their personal priorities on their calendar and make them happen.

Tenacity Jane is an entrepreneur with an undeniable passion for her business, and one who tends to be struggling with cash flow. As a result, she’s working longer hours, and making less money than she’d like. Nevertheless, Tenacity Jane is bound and determined to make her business a success. At 31% of women in business, Tenacity Janes make up the largest group of female entrepreneurs.

Of all five types of business owners, Tenacity Jane is the one whose ability to vacation is a function of her finances. About 44 percent of Tenacity Jane business owners cleared less than $10,000 annually, and nine out of 10 reported dissatisfaction with cash flow and unhappiness with revenue, business costs or personal income drawn through the company. It’s no wonder then, that Tenacity Jane business owners often report feeling frustrated or stressed. Here’s the good news: Tenacity Jane is the most common type of business owner, and nearly all of the financially successful women Jane Out of the Box interviewed reported having gone through a Tenacity Jane phase and using lessons learned during that phase to find financial profitability.

In examining her habits, Tenacity Jane may discover that in her determination to create success for herself and her business, she is working all the time, and is constantly available to team members and clients. This will likely wear her down. To avoid burnout, t is critical to block at least one day per week to be work-free. Although it is less likely that a Tenacity Jane business owner will have the money to take a long, faraway vacation to a tropical paradise, it is still essential that she find time for herself. She may consider taking a monthly or bi-monthly mini-vacation, even if it is a one-night stay at a local resort where she can lay by the pool, eat dinner out and then sleep late the next day. Or she may simply schedule weekly hikes or window-shopping trips. The activity itself doesn’t matter as much as the fact that this often-overwhelmed business owner takes a day (or longer, if possible) to recharge so she can work smarter when she returns to the grind. Also, since many Tenacity Jane business owners are less experienced, new knowledge can jumpstart profitability. Tenacity Jane may consider combining a workshop or retreat with a little time away. For example, she could attend a conference during the day, and relax in her hotel room at night, reading a good book, enjoying her favorite movie, or talking to a friend on the phone.

Despite the differences in business owners’ styles, habits and characteristics, all business owners share one thing in common: the need to recharge. Getting away from the business and spending time doing something revitalizing (whatever that might be) is an excellent – and essential – component of finding the right balance and personal satisfaction.

Why So Many Businesses Don’t Succeed

Having been a small business owner and consultant for twenty-plus years, I had the opportunity to learn from my own mistakes, as well as, seeing the business failings of others. I have learned that there are definitely reasons why a small business fails; why some are successful; and why certain types of people are more successful business owners and entrepreneurs. The good news is most successful small business owners had many failings before achieving a level of success, and the object of this article is to identify their (and my) mistakes.

Lack of Capital

When starting a business, an entrepreneur needs to first bring sufficient cash to the venture. I recommend a minimum 10% of the total funding amount to come from Owner’s Equity, with 20% being optimum. Having a strong equity stake in the beginning of a Company’s life makes acquiring the additional capital much easier and less expensive.

Strong Owner’s Equity shouldn’t stop after a Company’s start up stage. A Company’s strength in Retained Earnings is key to growing the Company, seizing on market opportunities and obtaining future finance. If you lack owner’s equity capital, there is additional undue pressure on a Company’s cash flows, making it increasingly hard to obtain the appropriate funding.

Lack of Business Knowledge

Successful entrepreneurs are typically well read. They are always striving for more knowledge and take advantage of the wealth of resources offered through business schools and, as importantly, read other successful entrepreneur’s books. A Business Degree or MBA is a helpful foundation but gaining knowledge from those who have found success is critically important to understanding why businesses fail, as well as, spawning new ideas and markets.

Inexperience

Inexperience ties in with Lack of Business Knowledge. Business Knowledge can be acquired in school, through books and magazines, and via experienced business owners. Business Experience is the critical and common link between successful entrepreneurs. Inexperience costs money when mistakes are made. Make too many mistakes, and you are out of business. Mistakes are a natural part of the business learning curve, however, minimizing them is very important to stay in business. I highly recommend going into a business which you have experience and passion while seeking out those who have been in the same business for a time and reached a significant level of success. Experience comes with time, but you can also learn from the mistakes others have made before you. Cultivate business relationships, mentoring opportunities and networking events and forums. I can’t tell you how many times spending time with an experienced entrepreneur has paid off in spades, in my business life in so much as, what not to do, as what to do.

Poor Management

This is a biggie. If you can’t effectively manage people, learn how to and / or hire someone who can. Some entrepreneurs are great at this vital skill and others don’t have the patience for it. However, the bottom line is you can have a great idea, product and market, but poor management will cause business failure 9 times out of 10. Poor management often evolves into poor employee morale and high employee turn-over, which significantly hampers a company’s ability to compete in the market. Management doesn’t just entail employee management but also the ability to manage the Company. Having a good Business Plan, excellent Profit Strategies, and effective Cash Flow Management are just some of the important management tools necessary to run a successful business. Businesses often fail because they haven’t owned up to and analyzed their weaknesses, which often stems from poor management practices.

Inadequate Planning

The lack of a business plan or the poor implementation of a plan is typically the number one reason for business failure. So why do small businesses neglect to plan? Because it can be a very difficult process to do well; day to day business activities leave them little time to plan; they fear the weaknesses and problems’ planning reveals; they lack the knowledge on how to effectively plan; or they feel the future can’t be planned for.

However, to be successful in a small business by relying solely on luck is a huge gamble and often meets failure. You must know where you are going and how to get there. A good Business Plan guides the entrepreneur on how to operate a business; interest investors and bankers on financing the business; provide direction and motivation to employees; and establish an environment which will attract and retain customers and talented employees.

I have seen many instances where a business has a business plan, but it lacks the operational and control features to successfully implement it and the strategic know-how to successfully link the marketing plan with effective financial modeling and forecasting. Good planning is both Strategic, which is high-level, long range goal setting and meeting of objectives, and Operational, which implements the Strategic Plan, operates the business and sets the policies, methods and procedures to do so.

Planning actually means good business management. Inadequate planning often translates into poor management functions. It is a process which relates and inter-relates closely to Managerial Functions. Many business Owners don’t understand the extent of these vital relationships, thereby producing inadequate plans, which ultimately lead to business failure.

Understanding the components of the Planning Process makes it much easier to develop and implement a good Plan:

– Planning:
- Organizational Objectives
- Establishing Programs, Policies and Strategies to achieve the Objectives

– Organizing:
- What Resources and Actions are needed to meet Organizational Objectives
- Setting up Working Groups
- Assigning authority and responsibility

– Staffing:
- Select, train, develop, place and orient employees
- Foster employee productivity

– Leading:
- Effective Communication and Motivation
- Performance
- Goal Achievement
- Work Assignments and Direction

– Controlling:
- Setting Standards
- Measuring Performance
- Corrective Action

The underlying reason why a small business fails often stems from poor Operational Planning. Operational Planning is critical, since it helps business owners and entrepreneurs avoid costly mistakes, saves considerable time over the long term, and successfully bridges the gap between planning on paper and implementing the plan. Three types of Planning, or Phases of planning, significantly improve a small business’s chance to achieve success:

– Pre-Start Up Operational Business Planning
– Ancillary Business Plans customized for Investors, Commercial Finance, Customers, Key Employees, Suppliers and the such
– Post-Start Up and Growth Continuous Planning and Control

Advertising Agencies For Your Marketing Needs

You may think that advertising agencies are only made for big businesses, but what you may not know is that anyone can use an advertising agency and a small business can benefit greatly from the use of an agency and it can give your business a nice boost that can help you to get your business in a position for success. You can sit back and watch your business take off and using an agency frees up the time you would spend marketing and you can devout this time to other aspects involving your business.

Advertising agencies specialize in marketing strategies and this is something that many business owners lack. There may be many things that you have tried on your own and if you are having a problem finding the traffic that your business needs. Sales promotions are another very important aspect of advertising and you may want to make sure that you are involved with the sales promotional aspect of your business so that you are involved in this process so that you know what to expect from your agencies help.

You can use advertising agencies for your physical or your online business. Many people are unaware that even if they have an online business they can still use an advertising agency to help you get more traffic and this is something that can really propel your business. Many online business owners are struggling to get more traffic and an agency may have great ideas that you have never thought of.

You want to be upfront with your advertising agencies to make sure that they understand where you are struggling and they can help you with this aspect of your business. You may have some really great ideas for marketing, but do not know how to implement them and this is something that an agency can help you with. An agency can help you with SEO and PPC as well and this is a great way to generate even more traffic.

Advertising agencies can take your business to places that you have only imagined. If you need some extra help generating traffic to your site, you should not struggle any longer and it may be time to let the professionals help you to find your way. An online business especially can be a very hard business to break into and an agency can get you started and then you can steer this adventure from there.