When you’re running your own business and you’re in the thick of keeping everything running smoothly; taking a holiday might be the last thing on your mind. Or maybe it’s something you’ve considered and you concluded that it would be more stressful than just keeping your nose to the grindstone. But it’s generally acknowledged that there are a lot of positive benefits that a break can offer for both you and your business.
If your stress levels are on the rise or even just plateaued at a general high, then taking a break away from it all can make a massive difference. And the physical impact of giving your mind as well as you body a rest means that you will feel energised and invigorated. Your mind in its rested state will be become a more agile problem solver, and you’ll be able to think creatively around challenges and new opportunities. In addition, a much-earned holiday gives you a great opportunity to reconnect with that key support team: your family and loved ones. Always a worthwhile investment for everyone involved.
There are lots of positive side effects from taking holiday but how do you stop it having a negative impact on your business? Well, it won’t surprise you to hear that planning is key.
1. Identify the time you want to take time off in advance and make sure you let your customers know.
2. If you have staff then decide who will be the key contact for your customers while you are away, otherwise work out a contact process for general enquiries vs. emergencies.
3. When it gets to your actual time off make sure you have effective out of office communications in place to set expectations for anyone making contact.
4. Plan your cash flow carefully to make sure funds are available while you are not.
5. Identify any bills that need to be paid or outgoing expenses that need to be managed to make sure you are paying everything on time: including your staff.
6. Set strict limits on your holiday work. If you need to stay in touch, try to limit it to something with minimum impact on your ability to take a physical and emotional break. For example, consider checking your email once a day, in the evening, and set aside half an hour to respond to any emails or enquiries.
Taking a break doesn’t mean you need to be out of the office for a month. You could give yourself a well-earned rest for a long weekend or a few days away. Running a business is a big job and the endless working days and 24-7 pondering of the next opportunity can tire out even the most energetic mind. So why not start planning your next holiday and look forward to enjoying the benefits it brings?