As Britain basks in sunshine this week, (obviously with the odd bit of rain thrown in for good measure!) it feels as though the spring is finally giving way to those light-nights-and-unpredictable-weather summer vibes.
And for many, the arrival of summer also means packing a suitcase and jetting off on your jollies. But for small business owners, it’s not always that easy.
According to a online study in recent years, it found that half of small business leaders take only five days or fewer off work per year, while a fifth took no time off at all!
Even if you’re not heading across the other side of the world, taking some time out is an essential part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Owning a business doesn’t mean having to kiss goodbye to annual leave. Here are our tips for making sure you get to switch on your Out of Office at least once this year.
While booking a last-minute trip can be one of the more exciting aspects of going on holiday, planning ahead will give you the time to wrap things up as best as possible before you go. Whether it’s getting the signature on that important contract, finishing up a big project or completing plenty of work for your clients in advance to tide them over in your absence, make time to get the most important bits sorted – but don’t go too mad. You’ll never dot all the ‘i’s, but the good news is that they’ll still be waiting for you when you get back.
Trust your staff (if you have them!)
When you’ve nurtured your business from the ground up, it can be really difficult to take a step back and let go. But for managers who’ve hired staff, it’s important to let them get on with it without micromanaging them from afar. You hired them for a reason and remember that it’s also in their best interests to keep things running smoothly!
Automate your tasks
For freelancers, sole traders or micro-business owners, there’s not always the luxury of a team of staff to pick up the slack while you’re away. But there is the option of technology. You can stack up a week’s worth of social media posts before you go away using a programme like Buffer or Hootsuite. It’ll post them one-by-one over the week to a schedule that you choose without you even having to lift a finger.
And for financial tasks, accounting software like Quickbooks Online allows you to automate all manner of regular tasks, from invoicing to payroll. Set things up the right way and it’ll be difficult to tell you’ve even gone!
Don’t check in
We know it’s tempting. And we know you’ll probably not be able to resist – 90% of micro-business owners do some form of work while they’re on holiday. But try to just enjoy your time away instead of checking your emails or making ‘just one call’. You can get back to the grind when you get home, but your holiday is a time for you – after all, you’ve earned it!