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Super Seller

How do you take Time Off?

Hey Food & Beverage Buddies!

 

I'm writing this from the road, as I'm on a 2-month long road trip down the East Coast! I'm super fortunate in that my Ice Cream store is seasonal and closed for the winter, so I get 3-4 months off where I don't need to worry about the shop, and I can travel almost carefree.

 

So how do you manage to take Time Off?

 

Do you have staff & managers in place that can watch things for you while you're away?

Do you close down while you're gone?
Do you just not take time off?

 

I'd love to hear about what you do and I'm sure your tips can spark ideas for other business owners here!

 

Thanks friends!
Pesso



Here's my current view from my Myrtle Beach hotel balcony:

 

IMG_3013.png

 

Pesso - he/him
Pesso's Ices & Ice Cream
Square Super Seller - I'm here to help!
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Super Seller

Hey @Pesso, Hope you are enjoying well-deserved time off. What a great view! 

 

We are extremely thankful that we have some great managers to look after the store when the owner or I are out of town. 

 

We also make sure to have technological backup systems, as discussed in the last Super Seller Hangout. This includes using Chrome Remote Desktop, having multiple computers, iPads, Square Stands, Square Readers, and a WiFi Hotspot. I can remotely fix (or come up with a temporary solution for) almost any technological issue, which saves me time driving into the store and ensures we do not miss any sales. 

 

I am interested in how iOS 15's upcoming SharePlay feature will help out in this. I think the employees will be able to share the Square Stand's iPad screen with me. 

 

Last, but not least, we make sure all the employees know where the fire extinguishers are 🌊🔥

 

 

Message 2 of 9
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Super Seller

.... What is time off? .... Nope never heard of that thing before. 

 

Sadly I am a one man band at the moment. We are still growing. I can only afford to take off little chunks of time off here and there. 

Nate
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Super Seller

As with most small business owners Time off is a luxury.

 

The way it works around my businesses is there isn't ever a good time to be away or even possible to be away.  

 

Things got incredibly more complicated when we opened out bakeries, when it was just the farm we always took 10-14 days off in November or December and do our vacation then, but that isn't possible as that is prime season for those businesses.  A lot of time what we do is I stay and hold down the fort while the wife and kids do to national dance competitions or Disney World Etc.  other times I take them to something Like Wisconsin Dells for water park fun while the wife holds down the front.  Now we work vacations into work, like in July and august I am in Kentucky 4 days a week hauling produce from Amish auctions with our semi so I take a kid or 2 with, or the wife drives down also with all the kids and get a hotel and swim, etc.  We have a couple of industry trade shows that we attended every year for the Garden Center and we take the kids with us for that and try to do stuff with them in the afternoon after cramming in the trade show floor in the morning.

 

none of it is ideal and hopefully, in a year or 2, we will be able to get away a bit easier if the supply chain and labor, etc calm down. We run lean businesses meaning there is us and then all the employees, we don't have the bureaucracy of managers and assistant managers and floor supervisors.  This helps us run a much more financially efficient business but also is the weight of not only being the owners and what comes with that but also being the managers and the people that fill in uncovered shifts, etc.  I tell everyone that I hire there is nothing here that I will make you do because I don't do it.  So they like the fact that their boss cleans the bathrooms on closing shifts etc so that buys more respect than just telling them what to do over the phone or via message.  But it also keeps us tied down.  If shifts are covered and there aren't any supply issues which both will hopefully be gone soon then I can see getting away for a week here and there in the future so that's something to look forward to.

 

As I type this I'm in Carona virus lockdown at our farmhouse away from the family so they don't catch it.  I'm one of the lucky ones who gets it and had their shot.  Thanks J&J 😉

Message 4 of 9
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Used to have that same problem until realization that we were headed for exhaustion and burn out.  That and we weren't contributing to the business success, we could leave and it would still be there when we returned.  Our solution?  Plan and place in concrete a time for "us".

 

We've blocked off two ( possibly three) weeks in March to drive the Al-Can to Alaska. Between now and March every detail is worked out.  Who will be "in charge", making sure ( training) that person can handle the daily crisis as well as regular supply and operation.  Putting in place contingents.  Vendors to notify.  The million and one things we take for granted.  

 

The first year took months to complete the planning because there was always something else to add.  After that, it is simple...take the "book" and make minor revisions.  

 

I'll admit, that first time we spent a lot of time fretting, calling in, etc.  It was DIFFICULT to let go.  The second time we left an emergency number on a pay for minutes phone with the notation " if it isn't life or death of people or business, it's your job at stake".  ( paraphrasing).  Then checked daily for messages. 

 

This time, we're confident the biz will still be there when we return.  So we're headed where there is no cell service.  

 

Plan and go.  Trust your staff.  

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I'm also lucky to have be in a business that is somewhat seasonal and I have very intentionally made decisions that allow me to take time off.  I don't have a walk in option for customers,  everything is by pre-order and scheduled pickup.  

 

I can't remember where I heard it,  but I always remember - run your business,  don't let it run you. 

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Super Seller

As a Photographer I'm always carrying my camera, so do I really ever have time off? Who needs time off when you love what you're doing anyway!

Matt - He/They
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Shop my online store - MJD Photography
Follow me on instagram - @MJD.ONLINE
Message 7 of 9
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I think when there is only one person working the business (non-seasonal), it's unlikely that you will get time off in this industry. The best thing to do IMO is to work little breaks into daily life. 

 

Setting expectations knowing that the first two years will be hard (we are in our third year and still, there is a lot to do!) 

What worked for me was knowing that I needed to create a team and I will not (able to) do this myself. So now we have a team of 6 (although all part-time). All of us communicate with each other to see what we need and we help each other out. I'm not at the place where I can be completely offline yet (usually still checking email and replying to customers on the road, etc). I love what I do so it's not really work 😁

Message 8 of 9
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We're only 2 months old, but we simply have a "weekend" (IE 2 consecutive days) where the shop is closed...and that's that. We also have based our business plan on 250 days assuming we will be closed 2 weeks of the year for whatever.

 

Todd

Owner/CFO (Chief Frying Officer)

Ruckus Donuts

Rockland, Maine

"New mysteries. New day. Fresh donuts" - David Lynch
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