How To Enjoy Your Holiday Without Worrying About Your Business

Many business owners choose to start their business to give themselves more freedom. Ironically, they now find they can’t take more than a few days off at any time for fear the business will struggle in their absence.

According to an American Express survey, 59% of small business owners don’t take holidays at all. However, with careful planning and the right systems in place, even the busiest entrepreneur can take time off to relax and unwind in the knowledge that their business will run like clockwork in their absence.

To make this happen, you need to take the time to train your most senior employees to handle all of your day to day tasks. Give them an opportunity to handle some of the challenges you face but be available to assist them if required. Encourage other staff members to consult with that caretaker manager in the first instance and in your absence.

Plan Ahead Based on Seasonal Patterns

The seasonal trends in your business should surface after several years of trading. You can then plan your holiday break and use your billing history to identify your business’ peaks and troughs.

Preparation is the Key

Your staff won’t want to contact you via phone or email while you are on your holidays with simple questions any more than you want to be contacted by them. Give your second-in-charge notes including daily ‘to-do’ lists, notes in relation to vendor and customer contacts, projects underway or details of other issues which you can anticipate might surface in your absence. The days of procedure manuals are numbered so you could even start recording your systems and instructions in a series of videos.

Let Clients and Suppliers Know You Are On Leave

It’s a good plan to let your business contacts know that you’ll be away and provide them with the contact information for your caretaker. You can send a group email (using “BCC” to mask recipients) to your key customers as well as set up an auto responder with the same details in your email system.

Consider Using Temporary Staff

You may need to consider hiring a temporary staff member to assist your caretaker as they may not be able to fulfil their normal duties while they are acting in your role. Hiring one or two temporary staff members to assist with simple tasks may mean your long-term employees are able to focus on the higher-level needs of the business. Ensure they start a day or two before you leave so you can ensure they are adequately trained.

Occasionally Check In

It’s almost impossible to completely get away from your business and the temptation to check emails, call and check with your staff on the state of your business is irresistible for some. If it will ease your mind to check in, then do so but limit your check in calls and emails to only once every couple of days so that you can focus on relaxing and enjoying your well deserved holiday. It also sends a message to your staff that you trust them to run the operation in your absence.

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