*A recent survey found that three quarters (76%) of small business owners and entrepreneurs forego holidays to keep their business running smoothly.
It’s vital as business owner that you don’t allow yourself to burn out and that you take some time off, to benefit your personal wellbeing and to benefit your business. The essential part is to plan early to ensure you can enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that your business is in capable hands.
1. Plan Early
Once you’ve booked your holiday, you'll need to plan how you’ll manage your business while you’re away, so that you can enjoy some rest and relaxation. It may be possible for you to take your business on holiday with you. After all, most hotels and resorts now have WIFI and you could work during your holiday. But, is that really something you want to do?! How happy is your Partner/family about you spending most of Christmas and New Year working?
You could close your business while you’re on holiday. However, this also takes a lot of planning in advance, such as needing to communicate your plans to customers to ensure that you manage their expectations; and putting a block on customer and clients being able to schedule in meetings and appointments with you.
We personally wouldn’t recommend closing your business, as this also means you’re not earning money for the duration on your holiday.
2. Consider Staff Levels
We recommend that the best way of running a business while on annual leave is to have someone else manage the business in your absence. This could be trusted employees and colleagues, or a reliable Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager.
Plan rotas, schedules and training well in advance to ensure that you select the right people to manage the business while you’re away - and give yourself plenty of time to train them prior to your departure. By doing this, you’ll provide an opportunity for the person covering to ask questions about any task they may be unsure of - and it will also give you the confidence that your business is in safe hands while you’re away.
3. Review Policies & Processes
Are your processes and policies up to date? If these need to be referred to in your absence, the person managing your business will understand the actions they must follow.
4. Don't be a 'Grinch'!
If you have an office, don’t be a 'Grinch' and think that because you’re going on holiday, you don’t need to decorate the office for the staff you leave behind to manage your business for you. Bring some Christmas cheer to the office and decorate for those working over the festive period.
5. That Includes Your Online Presence
Your physical offices are not the only element of your business that requires festive cheer. If you have an online presence, you need to ensure that this is also properly prepared for the Christmas period. Consider adding festive graphics to your website, or changing the colour scheme to a classic Christmas red and green. Add notices to make customers aware of any alterations in opening and closing times during the festive period.
Remember - planning and communication is key whenever preparing your business before you go on leave! If you plan far enough in advance and leave your business in the capable hands of those you have trained, you'll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the festivities and return to work feeling refreshed and ready to achieve your 2018 business goals.
*Source - The Guardian.