Five reasons to take a time out from your small business: part two
In our previous article, we looked at reasons why you should take time out from your small business. Although the reasons are convincing, taking time off is often easier said than done. To help you on the way to enjoying a well deserved break, here are a few things you can do.
How to take time out from your small business
Prepare in advance
If you own a small business with staff, then ideally you will have a well-trained team member that can run the business on your behalf for short periods of time.
If you work alone then organisation is key. Tell your clients and customers in advance (ideally six weeks beforehand) if you’re taking time off to make sure you keep a good relationship and let them make other arrangements while you’re away if needed.
If you don’t have staff to run the business while you are away you may also be able to outsource some of your work, for instance, you can pay to use a professional business answering service. Or if you work with an accountant they may also be able to offer you support while you are away, with responsibilities such as invoicing and credit control.
Set holiday work boundaries
Completely forgetting your business while you take longer breaks is perhaps unrealistic for some, especially with modern technology at our fingertips. So if you are going to pick up work while you are away, then you should try assigning certain times of day to deal with any business matters. For example, you might set aside an hour in the evening before you go for dinner to deal with any issues, return emails etc. – then leave your phone when you head out so you aren’t tempted to check it again. Alternatively you might get up early and get anything urgent done first thing, so you can enjoy the day ahead without worrying about your business.
Automate certain tasks
Using an automatic email responder will also remind customers that you are away and that they shouldn’t expect an instant reply. As well as automating email responses, you might consider automating some of your other tasks. For example you can schedule social media posts using tools such Hootsuite, or automate your payments to regular suppliers using accounting software.
The importance of taking time out is clear; it benefits your business just as much as your personal life. And there’s no reason why small business owners can’t take some time for themselves. Get organised, outsource work if you need to, put clear procedures in place and plan longer breaks well in advance. Set aside some time each day to switch off, get your work-life balance in check and reap the rewards!
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