When starting a new business it can feel like there may never be a good time to take a holiday. A recent survey found that 76% of small business owners and entrepreneurs forego holidays in order to keep their business running smoothly.
I have learnt that giving yourself time away from the daily grind is strategically beneficial to the business. A holiday gives me much needed time to plan and reflect. Sometimes it helps me to take a step back and see opportunities I otherwise would’ve missed.
It also a mistake to assume that your team can’t cope without you. Handing over the reins for a week’s holiday is empowering for your team and it’s great to see that it’s business as usual when I’m not there. That’s how I know I have a successful business.
However, I’m not saying that I switch off entirely, careful planning makes holidays workable. Here are my three tips for taking a successful holiday.
1. Identify potential problems before you travel.
Understanding and planning for key issues gives you the confidence to step away without worrying whilst also calms any nerves within the team. Set out the parameters for contacting you whilst away.
2. Take control of your gadgets.
If I must attend to pressing matters, I leave instructions in my ‘out of office’ to resend messages that can’t wait, marking them urgent in the subject line, and I’ve created a rule in my email settings to forward these to my phone. Technological capabilities have grown, let them help you to be switched on and off when it’s most important.
3. Stay out of the way.
You must have confidence in your team. Delegating is one of the toughest skills I’ve had to learn in order to grow my businesses. See my previous blog on ‘The Importance of Losing Control’ for some useful tips to help you delegate.
Owning a small business doesn’t mean you should give up your breaks, it may just mean you juggle your holiday priorities instead.
Image: Flickr CC/BY/2.0 Giorgio Montersino