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No matter how much a female entrepreneur loves her business, taking time away from it is essential to finding a balance that provides security for the company as well as her personal satisfaction. Because each business owner has an individual style for running her business, she must make individual considerations when it comes to vacationing.


A recent study from Jane Out of the Box, an authority on female entrepreneurs, reveals there are five distinct types of women in business. Based on professional market research of more than 2,500 women in business, this study shows that each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article outlines two of the five types and provides tips for planning for much-needed rest and relaxation.


Merry Jane. This entrepreneur is building a part-time or “flexible time” business that gives her a creative outlet (whether she’s an ad agency consultant or she makes beautiful artwork) that she can manage within specific constraints around her schedule. She may work a day-job, or need to be fully present for family or other pursuits. Representing about 19% of women in business, she realizes she could make more money by working longer hours, but she’s happy with the tradeoff she has made because her business gives her tremendous freedom.


The multi-faceted Merry Jane is adept at juggling several different aspects of life at once â€" including her business, her other priorities, and taking care of herself. She appreciates the flexibility to work when, where and as much as she wants. The desire to maintain that flexibility means Merry Jane is very systems-oriented, and she doesn’t put an exorbitant amount of time into her business on an ongoing basis. Plus, Merry Jane-owned businesses are often not the primary source of income in the household. Therefore, if Merry Jane’s other obligations allow her to do so, vacationing does not pose a problem. 


One challenge Merry Jane faces is that she would like her business to make more money without a significant investment of time. She already excels at managing her time, so if she increased her income, she would have better means for using her free time to vacation.


Here are some ideas for Merry Jane to consider for gaining more clients and profiting, while retaining her time freedom â€" and vacationing potential:

  • Identify the target and a clear message. Merry Jane should define an “ideal” customer, and define his or her needs. Then she can market the product or service to that customer as fulfillment of his or her needs. This will save Merry Jane time and money on unnecessary or misdirected marketing efforts, and will land her more of the “right” customers. She can then use the time and money she saves â€" and the new profit she makes â€" toward a well-deserved vacation.  

  • Select an appropriate marketing method. Most Merry Jane business owners need a slow-growth marketing method that builds relationships over time, and that doesn’t require a huge monetary or time investment. Examples include social networking, affiliate marketing and referral marketing. These marketing methods can work for Merry Jane even while she is on vacation, so she won’t need to worry about maintaining them while she is relaxing.  

  • Make it easy for new customers to buy the first time. Merry Jane might offer incentives for first-time buyers, such as coupons or discounts. They can make it easy for customers to keep buying by offering incentives such as auto-billing or earning a free product or service after a specific amount of time. Again, these profit-boosting ideas do not require much work on Merry Jane’s part, and can continue making money for her even while she takes time away from the company.   


Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and then she decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have started making something that served her own unmet needs and found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Although Accidental Jane may sometimes struggle with prioritizing what she needs to do next in her business, she enjoys what she does and is making good money. About 18% of all women business owners fit the Accidental Jane profile.


Most Accidental Jane business owners report a high level of satisfaction with their businesses. They often started their companies to create their ideal jobs â€" to gain control over critical aspects of their working lives. They want enough, but not too much, work, and enough income to meet their needs â€" and they often have it. Because Accidental Jane business owners like making and living by their own rules, they often have no trouble taking vacation. One consideration, though: because they dislike corporate politics and often don’t want to be responsible for traditional employees, vacationing requires more planning (since they may not have employees to handle their businesses while they’re gone).


If Accidental Jane can gain control of the typical ebb and flow cycle that plagues many of the entrepreneurs in this group, she can more easily execute the necessary planning for her vacations. Low-maintenance marketing (such as an ongoing newsletter, pre-written tweets to go out periodically on Twitter, or pre-written weekly blog posts), can help Accidental Jane to market even when she’s working, so that when she finishes one project, she has another waiting. With a consistent flow of clients and projects coming through her door, Accidental Jane can plan for a slow week or two during which to take a vacation â€" and she can relax while she’s there, knowing that work is waiting when she returns.


Taking time off is just as crucial to running a successful business as making calls, sending invoices and closing sales. It provides business owners with the relaxation, rejuvenation and refreshment they need to get back to work energized and powered up, in their best form.


Interested in learning more about the five Jane types and which Jane you are? Check out

This Business article was written by Michele DeKinder-Smith on 5/5/2010

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at