Small business owners: 5 things to do before you take a holiday
Getting away and taking a holiday is crucial when you’re a small business owner. It helps you take a step back and plot the company’s trajectory, and more importantly, it gives you the chance to relax and recharge your batteries.
As the summer draws in, we’ve put together a short list of everything you can do to make sure you have the most enjoyable and distraction-free holiday possible.
1.Make a pre-holiday action list
Before any trip it’s important to make a list of everything you need to do before you leave, making sure you leave enough time to tick everything off it. Entrepreneurs will be all too familiar with the mad scramble to get everything finished off at work, as well as packing bags and printing boarding cards.
To help minimise those pre-holiday stress levels, and ensure you have a relaxed start to the trip, ask yourself if anything on the list can wait until you return.
2.Automate to rejuvenate
Automation is your friend when you’re on holiday. In the same way that manufacturers have used robots to reduce human input at plants, small business owners can use modern technology to keep their businesses operating while they aren’t there.
Setting an automatic responder on your email is one easy way of automating your business, even if it says you are not available to take emails at the moment. Using cloud accountancy programmes like FreeAgent and Xero also allow you to automate your invoicing, so you can keep finances running smoothly while you’re not even in the country.
3.Think about outsourcing
If you truly want to relax while you’re on holiday, but you’ve got a big project deadline hanging over your head, then you might consider outsourcing some or all of a piece of work to another party.
You can also outsource smaller things too, like answering your telephone or replying to emails. Platforms like People Per Hour are full of people that can complete all sorts of odd jobs.
4.Factor a holiday into your cash flow
If you are lucky enough to be taking a longer break then you should consider how the time off will affect your businesses cash flow. FreeAgent has put together an excellent field guide showing you how to accurately measure the real business cost of a holiday. If your calculation works out to be more than you can afford then you should think about postponing or shortening your trip.
5.Do everything in your power to stop working on holiday
Not doing any work when you are on holiday is the dream. Unfortunately, for a lot of business owners it is impossible. There is always something that needs doing or an important decision that can’t wait until next week. If this sounds like you then there are things you can do to limit your work output while on holiday. Switching off emails on your phone will stop you getting distracted when you are trying to relax. And setting a short period of time aside each day for work stuff will help concentrate your mind and complete tasks quickly.
In many ways, taking a break from your work can actually be of benefit to your business. Not only does it help rejuvenate your spirits for weeks and months to come, but it can also help you gain some perspective on where you are and where you are going. Many business leaders report coming to a grand Eureka! moment while sat on a beach in France or a sun lounger in Spain.