Closing Shop for a Vacation Week

Key people need a break. But how will clients feel when you shut down the whole operation for a week? February 27, 2013

We have a small, profitable, family run molding business. Though we can always do more, we've got it about where we want it. I do the selling/purchasing and logistics and the running of things, my wife does the paperwork, my son runs the shop, and we have a couple other workers.

The problem is taking a vacation. Most everyone is a key person. It's the way we stay lean and profitable. So, we are thinking about shutting down the week of July 4th. Anyone else do this? Pros and cons? It would be so easy to forget about things instead of on the phone half the time while you're supposed to be on vacation.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor H:
I have two employees and there are two religious festivals every year when I close for 1 week. Message on answering machine is clear and I assure clients they will have my full attention upon my return. I do not know if I've ever lost someone, but I have never had a client complain. Lock the door, close the cell phone and enjoy!

From contributor B:
We've used July 4th week and Christmas/New Years week as the two shop vacation weeks for years now. The guys have been fine with this and I make sure our customers know in advance this is happening. There has been very little negative impact on the business.

These are supposed to be the shop vacation weeks but I tend to be around anyway. An unexpected side benefit is that since the shop is free of other activities for those two weeks I have the shop to myself for personal projects.

From contributor L:

I figure if you have this written down in the employee handbook it is what it is. If this is something new then just have a meeting about it. If some of the guys have other plans, then you might want to wait until the next round. Or just shut down that week and let them take their other planned vacation. You are the boss, therefore you set the rules.

From contributor C:
I have two jobs stateside and have a problem scheduling them together (three weeks). Vacation!? What’s that?

From contributor M:
We closed from Xmas to New Years last year. The guys knew it and saved a little of their vacation. 2 days were paid and 3 were vacation. The year before we were too busy to shut down. It was nice to get some paperwork done without being here late and the guys needed a break as well.