So, you’ve booked yourself a holiday? Firstly, let me congratulate you on that – there are so many small business owners out there who find themselves unwilling or unable to take a break from their business, despite the fact that a break from work, a change of scenery and a chance to physically and mentally unwind is a must for any business owner looking to build a sustainable business.
However, as we all know, booking a holiday and being able to relinquish control of your business, albeit temporarily, is notoriously difficult. So here are my top 5 tips for holiday preparation:
1.) Don’t forget your ‘Out of Office’ – Be clear with your working boundaries in your auto-responder. If you have no intention of responding to any emails, make this clear in your message and give customers an alternative contact should their request be urgent.
2.) Give yourself one or two days of holiday buffer either side of your vacation – Don’t book any meetings immediately before or after your holiday, and consider turning on your ‘Out of Office’ auto-responder on a day or two early. This will give you a chance to get your own business admin and outstanding client work completed in relative peace and quiet.
3.) Consider temporary/ad-hoc/regular business support – we understand that when you go away, the rest of the world doesn’t stop. As a result, why not consider working with a VA to help provide cover whilst you are away? They could either be a helpful point of contact for your customers, dealing with enquiries and emails, etc. whilst you are away, or could manage your business more intensively in your absence, depending on the level of support you’d prefer to have.
4.) Get ready to take a real break – switch off social media, remove your emails from your phone, and put a voicemail/call divert on your mobile if you use it for business calls. This might take some planning and forethought, but, from experience, you’ll be able to psychologically re-charge far more effectively without these distractions.
5.) Make holidays a regular occurrence – As long as your customers know about periods of absence in advance, it’s perfectly reasonable to take time away from work every now and then! As long as your business has contingency plans in place to support customers in your absence, you should feel able to take a step away from your business every now and then to relax, recuperate and re-group, ready for the next few months!