Mix Business with Pleasure
Professional photographer Chris Humphrey is based out of Tulsa, Okla., and runs a successful one-person business shooting weddings. He has solved the small business vacation dilemma by taking two or three days off of work and heading to a trade seminar or conference.
He goes to Las Vegas every year for a wedding convention and meets with many of his vendors while picking up new products and tips. He also attends a photographers’ association meeting that is held in a different location annually.
“As part of the usual conference routine there’s usually some entertainment,” he says, adding “it’s nice to close the business for a couple of days but when you get home you haven’t wasted that time.”
Kim Balk, president of two-person Legal Technology Services in Des Moines, Iowa, makes sure her one employee can fill in for her when she’s out. She also relies on a subcontractor who is trained to run the business if necessary.
Balk says it’s been difficult to take time off as business is strong, but managed to take a family vacation while speaking at a conference held by the Iowa State Bar Association. She brought grandma and the kids to the event at a nearby resort and took two days off to relax. (Her husband, who sells Dodge, Ford and Chrysler cars, decided to forego the trip because summer is one of the prime selling seasons for a dealership.)
Photographer Humphrey had planned a rare, family vacation to Disneyland with his wife and two kids for September. But work started piling up for him that month and it looked like the trip would be canceled. So on a day in late February, he saw that March was a light month for him so he booked a trip on the spur of the moment and the Humphreys were able to go.
“Although it probably wouldn’t be a regular thing for us," he says. “Sometimes too much planning can get in the way.”