It seems that small business owners are always at work, even during three-day weekends. While Labor Day weekend typically means one last trip to the beach or dip in the pool to mark the end of the summer season, it means something quite different for small business owners. Although the weekend is meant to commemorate workers, it usually spells opportunity for small business owners – and not just for additional sales.
Kapitus reached out to scores of small business owners to see how they plan to maximize their three-day weekend, and, unlike most, the responses overwhelmingly involved a mix of work and play. Some plan to spend the weekend recharging and spending time with their families, while others said they will use the day off to knock out “to do” lists for their small businesses. For others, Labor Day weekend means getting prepared for the upcoming holiday season.
Many small business owners that Kapitus spoke to said three-day weekends give them a chance to both recharge and get some much needed chores done.
“I’ve found that a lot of people think they can’t do both—take time off and still get stuff done—but I actually find it helps me focus more than if I’m in the office all day long,” said Dmitriy Bobriakoz, co-founder and managing director at Solwiser.
“When I’m working from home or at a coffee shop, I tend to be more focused because there are fewer distractions around me: no coworkers asking for help, no deliveries arriving unexpectedly. However, when I’m out of the office for a long weekend, I feel like I have more time to get my tasks done without feeling like there are any time constraints on them By using this time wisely and taking advantage of 3-day weekends whenever possible, it’s easy for me to stay on top of all my responsibilities while also enjoying some much needed downtime!”
Laura Rike, a self-employed consultant to small businesses, called work-life balance “a myth” for small business owners because they often have to multitask between personal and professional matters.
“The idea, in my opinion, isn’t to seek a consistent work-life balance, but to be in a position where you can give more time and attention to different aspects of your life at different times,” said Rike. “Sometimes, if you have a launch or a super busy season, work is going to be more time-consuming. If your children are sick or you have family in town, then family may take more focus. It’s a matter of being in the position to leverage things so that you can be where you need to be most, when you need to be there. This could fall on a 3-day weekend, and require you to take your own 3-day weekend another time, when your attention, energy, and time are less critical to your business.”
Laura Fuentes, operator of Infinity Dish, said that getting some much-needed rest and relaxation is important during a three-day weekend, but emphasized that small business owners can also use the time to get organized.
“As a small business operator, I’m almost always up against a deadline,” said Fuentes. “Three-day weekends can feel like an escape from those feelings but if you’re not doing anything productive all weekend, when the work days roll back around it can feel even worse. So, I take the first two days of a three-day weekend and I completely turn my brain off of work mode, don’t think about it at all!
“Then on the third day, I spend at least a few hours dealing with work – Emails in particular. I like to get ahead on planning my week and doing a few hours of work just to catch up on anything that I couldn’t finish the week prior. Then after that, I close my work computer and go relax with my family because knowing when to be on and when to be off is the key to surviving business life.”
Here Come the Holidays!
Some small business owners told Kapitus that the Labor Day weekend officially marks the busy holiday season – one in which retailers and other businesses need to get their inventories ready and start promoting sales for specific holidays from Halloween to New Year’s Day.
“While the best thing for small business owners to do with the upcoming three-day weekend is get some rest, the second best thing they can do is start planning their holiday marketing strategy,” said Cain Twyman, owner of Twyman Consultations. “August is a great time to start planning your holiday marketing, but if you haven’t had the time yet this 3-day weekend for Labor Day is perfect to start! Take a few hours to map out your offers, plan your campaigns and give yourself the best start to the biggest ecommerce season for businesses.”
Other small business owners said three-day weekends are best used to tackle to-do lists and to complete tasks that they simply don’t have time for during business hours. For example, Doug Spencer, co-founder of Bold Xchange, said Labor Day is a valuable time to focus on marketing and sales tactics.
“At Bold Xchange, packing and shipping corporate gift boxes is a core function of our business. Our logistics partners are closed on most Monday holidays,” said Spencer. “These are special, rare opportunities to shift our focus from the physical products we sell to the experiences we create for companies and teams across the country. We take these days to do the creative thinking and planning that can be hard to squeeze in between daily shipments and deliveries.”
Shaun Connell, founder of Credit Building Tips, said that Labor Day and other holidays are great chances for some quiet time to brainstorm ways to improve business.
“I like to take advantage of three-day weekends by planning creative strategies for my business, as I find during holidays you feel more relaxed and at ease to be able to do so,” said Connell. “I use my time wisely to create new marketing strategies, keep up with trends via social media, as well as re-look at my overall business goals to see if I am on track. There are less obligations to be met over a three-day weekend which is why finding creative business ideas is easier, as you can focus and do so in a more relaxed way.”
Freeman Smith, founder of NuFactor, echoed Connell’s sentiments. “Holidays are the best day to put your head down and work without having to respond to emails,” he said. “I’ll be spending Labor Day migrating our business to a new CRM. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but it is difficult to do when our team is utilizing the existing CRM to speak with customers.”
Unfortunately, while most people enjoy a rare Monday off, a long weekend means extra hustle for some small business owners, especially since local shoppers will have an additional 24 hours to purchase products. However, despite working on holidays, three-day weekends give small businesses a chance to connect with their local communities.
“The best market to leverage in the early stages is the local market,” said Adam Kremer, owner of Royalty Renewables. “Every three-day weekend throughout the year is jam-packed with events. Local communities come together to see one another and enjoy outdoor activities with their friends and family. It can be brewery beer bash, fourth of July fireworks, labor day cookout, or even a fair. These events have all the paid advertising done for you and many allow for vendors to take part…You get the perks of face-to-face communication where you can build relationships with countless residents local to you, which can create easy return business if you have a local shop or perform a service for homeowners.”
You Also Need to Recharge!
Thankfully, Kapitus did speak to small business owners who “turn off” work during three-day weekends to get some much-needed family and rest time.
“A three-day weekend is ideal for spending quality time with family and friends,” said Laura Kinkar, CEO at Messente. “It isn’t easy to devote your undivided attention to your loved ones during the week, especially when you have a lot to do to accomplish everything you need to finish at work. However, with a long weekend, you have enough time to disconnect from technology and get adequate sleep, and you still have time to go on a weekend getaway with your loved ones to a destination that’s an hour away from home. The three-day weekend will surely recharge your batteries for the upcoming week.”
Enjoy the Long Weekend!
Burnout is very real, especially among small business owners who have to wear multiple hats and constantly take work home with them. Whether you’re going to be at work, play, or a combination of both, make sure to take some valuable time off during the holidays to get some rest and enjoy time with families. Enjoy the weekend!