Setting Up Your Consulting Practice

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Topic: Establish Your Vacation Policy

Planning your vacation in advance is a great way to ensure you make time for your family as your business grows. If you’re single, you may want to take time off at the end of the project. But for those with a family, it’s a good idea to plan your vacation up to six months […]

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Picking Your Vacation Policy. Now this one may seem a little bit premature, but I recommend as you’re setting up your firm to determine your vacation policy. Now you might be saying, “Wait a minute. I don’t have any clients yet. I don’t have any business. I’m not worried about vacation policy.” But, now is the time to do it.

Particularly if you have a family — talk to your significant other and think about, hey, let’s say this business is up and rolling, and at a high-utilization rate, what sort of vacation policy do we want to commit to? How many days off per year do I want to take?

It’s very, very tempting, once you get into this, if you do have a flow of business, to just keep rolling with it, and it’s easy to never take time off. So, decide upfront with your significant other what sort of vacation policy you want to commit to.

And the way we do it in my family is we block vacations far in advance. It almost never fails that as we get closer to the date, if, if we hadn’t blocked it on my calendar, I would say there’s some reason for me not to go on this trip. It would be so easy to just say “I can’t afford the time away, the client demands, we have proposals underway…”

For me, the only way it works is to block it six months out. You may have a different approach if you’re single and you don’t have a family. It might be easier to wrap up a project and then say, “Hey, I’ll take three months off. I can go travel now.”

But whatever your situation is, decide upfront how much time you want to take away from work, and put that in writing. If you have a significant other, agree to it together. And you will be happy once your business is up and running and you have client work coming in, that you did this in advance.