Small business owners: How to take a holiday (and enjoy it!)

By Jake Martin

2 min read

Running a small business is a 24/7 role, especially if it’s just you, and taking time out from it can be scary. However, taking a break every now and then is absolutely essential to both your sanity and your productivity.

These tips should help you take some holiday this year, whether you’re jetting off somewhere hot and sunny or just having a few lie-ins and work-free days.

Work in advance

In the weeks before you go away, you’ll probably have to put in some overtime. This will help you finish off projects and compensate for some of the income you’ll lose when you’re not working. Plan to work a couple of evenings a week or one day on the weekend temporarily and you should feel more in control and prepared when you take that break.

Let people know

Tell clients as early as you can when you plan to be away and what the plans are in your absence. Send out reminders closer to the time and set up an out-of-office whilst you’re away.

Say no

Be strong and don’t agree to any deadlines immediately before you go away or after you get back – you’ll need time to pack and get into the holiday spirit, and immersing yourself straight into deadlines when you return could undo all that rest and relaxation.

Make the laptop decision

You need to decide before you go away whether you plan to take a total break from work (highly recommended!) or whether you simply must check in sporadically. It’s strongly advisable to be honest with any holiday companions about this too if you don’t want your holiday in the sun to have a very frosty atmosphere.

If you can’t face cutting off all contact with your business – and it is understandable – make sure you set clear boundaries and stick to them, such as only checking email a couple of times a week or dealing with work for only 20 minutes per day, for example. Without these boundaries, you could end up getting sucked into properly working, which is a waste of holiday time and money.  

Manage the money

Make sure your invoices are all out before you go away and that late payments have been chased up – you’re likely to be feeling the pinch from holiday spending and lack of earning when you get back so you’ll want to know that money is coming in.

Try mini-breaks

If you can’t afford to take a full break because of money or work commitments, or you’ve left it too late to organise a week or two off, you can still leave your desk this summer.

Consider taking a couple of long weekends away, a day trip out or just an afternoon completely off work – even these small breaks can make a big difference to your well-being.

Make the most of time off

Taking time off from work can feel pretty weird at first when you run your own business. However, the cold sweat will lift and in the majority of cases, everything will be completely fine while you’re away. Allow yourself to enjoy your time off without any guilt – you deserve it!

Are you taking a break this year? Going anywhere nice? Will you check emails etc. or are you officially off work?

[Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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