Oh I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside…

Who doesn’t love a good holiday? Whether you enjoy sitting on the beach or going exploring in new cities and discovering new cultures, everyone needs some time off sometimes. Sadly, as business owners, this is a luxury we rarely allow ourselves to have. Which is daft, when you think about it. One of the great things about being your own boss is the ability to decide your own schedule to fit around your life. And while many will shuffle work hours to take a long weekend or make sure they are there for the kids when they get home from school, very few of us feel comfortable taking a 2-week holiday. We feel guilty about doing it. So much so that 76% of small business owners don’t take holiday at all. But today we say ladies, embrace the summer and treat yourself to some well-earned time off! We’ve put together a few tips to help you prepare for going away and make sure everything will be running smoothly so you can actually relax and enjoy your holiday, without constantly glancing at the emails.

Plan And Prepare Early

If you know a few months in advance that you’re going to be away for 2 weeks, start preparing for that now. Let your clients know you will be away during that time and that if they will need any work done during that time, to let you know now so that you can get it done early. It might mean a week of extra effort and a few longer days squeezed in, but you will be confident that when you walk out of the door everything will be taken care of. Not only will this help you enjoy your break more without worrying about work, but it will also help you transition back to work. There will be no giant pile of extra work to greet you and undo all of that relaxation, instead just your standard workload.

Automation Is Your Best Friend

Marketing tools have come a long way in the last 5 years, and now they are the perfect companion to help keep your business ticking over while you’re away. Schedule all of your marketing, whether that be Twitter, Facebook posts, blogs or newsletters before you go away. No one even needs to know you’re not at work, everything will still be going on. Make sure you carve out some time in your schedule the week running up to your trip (there we go with planning again) to write some blog posts or an email newsletter ready to go out while you’re away, along with all of your regular social media postings.

Tie Up Your Loose Ends

Of course, it’s not just the physical work we have to think about as business owners. Think about tying up all of the loose ends around your business at the same time. Will you have bills due to be paid during your holiday? Schedule payments or pay them early. Do you have networking meetings you would usually attend? Arrange for a substitute to go for you. A meeting arranged? Reschedule. Make sure you address all of the little bits and pieces that usually get forgotten and make sure they can’t impact your holiday. The last thing you want when lying on the beach is a phone call informing you you’ve missed a payment

And Finally…

Relax! This might sound theatrical but it’s actually the hardest thing for any business owner to do. We have this built-in idea that our business will fall apart without us and we will come back to a smoking ruin. You can be confident that if you’ve planned ahead, this won’t happen. If you work by yourself, make sure you’ve got a filter on your emails that will send anything marked ‘urgent’ to your phone, but otherwise set the out of office, turn off the work phone and leave it alone. If you have a team of people working with you, brief them properly and hand over the reins while you’re away. It will be a massive confidence boost for them to see you trust them, and it gives you a chance to truly switch off and unwind. And if you don’t, hire yourself a VA to support you through the holidays, so you can relax knowing everything is taken care of!

The most important thing to remember is that you work to live, you don’t live to work, and taking some time out of the business is crucial to avoiding burnout and exhaustion. So, stop making excuses and book that holiday! And if you need someone to keep an eye on things while you’re gone, just drop us a line.