One of the best things about running your own business is having the freedom to manage your own time. But having a proper break or holiday can be tough if you're a small business owner, particularly if you're running your own show.
It’s important to take time out to recharge so you can come back with renewed focus and energy to run your business. Here are some steps to help you manage some time away.
Contact customers early
Give your clients and customers as much warning as possible so you can come up with a plan to help prepare for what they might need. This could mean fulfilling some orders early, or getting someone you trust to stand in while you're away.
Speaking with customers can also show you’ve got their best interests in mind and help you build relationships.
Schedule what you can
Schedule payments, social media posts and emails, so your business continues to run to an extent while you’re on holidays. If you've got a Business Transaction Account, you can set alerts that let you know if your account balance is low, high or you’ve just been paid.
Go offline or manage remotely
You can choose to stay connected to your email or completely disconnect. Neither option is right or wrong, but make sure your staff, customers or clients are aware of what they can (or can't) expect while you’re away.
Delegate what you can
This can be a good opportunity to give any staff you may have a little extra responsibility. When you come back you might even find they could continue with certain responsibilities they couldn't before, freeing you up to manage other things.
If you don’t have staff, think about asking someone you trust to manage things that must happen while you’re away. If you’re a plumber, for example, this could mean having a friend on standby just in case one of your customers has an emergency.
Accept there may never be a perfect time for a holiday
There will always be things about running your own business that make taking time off tough. Be realistic about when you can actually go, but also make sure you’re not putting a holiday off for things that will always be a part of your business’ day-to-day running.