It’s how most of us felt in our first year, or three, of running a business; how can we even consider time away when we are the business? You are it, there is no “back-up” or answering service. If you go on holiday the business will fail, won’t it?
We’ve both run businesses and been The Business, the only person running something that’s getting bigger and more exciting and, at times a little overwhelming. We’ve both experienced how draining it can become after the second year, when that initial determination and enthusiasm can start to wain, as we learn how long it can take to establish credibility as a new business.
We’ve also learned a key lesson along the way; as The Business, if we don’t take a regular break, we don’t deliver our best work, which results in less that happy clients, a dent in your credibility and potentially a loss of business.
How can you start to let go enough to take a break this summer? Here are our top tips to giving yourself a break, boost and re-energizing your business with a holiday:
- Get your mind-set right. Are you “too busy for a holiday” because you think you ought to be or because you really are? If it’s the latter, it might be time to take on longer-term help that simple holiday cover. If, however, it is the former, then take a deep breath and allow yourself this time. See it as an investment in yourself, just like you would a training course or time with a business coach. This time away from the business will provide a “better you” and thus better business.
- Tell your clients you are taking a holiday and let them know what arrangements are in place while you are away. Do NOT give them an emergency number to call you on. Please. You will always regret that you did, and you’ll be giving them a message that you don’t value your own time.
- Don’t try to keep your business “running as usual”; you’re not looking for someone to run your business while you take a break, you are looking for someone to make sure anyone contacting your business gets a timely response, that your blogs or web pages still get viewed and that you don’t have to spend your first few days back in the office going through e-mails and phone messages from annoyed clients, wondering where you are.
- Delegate to someone who comes highly recommended. The best way to prevent yourself stressing about whether you’ve left your phone calls and e-mails in the best hands, is to ask three people you trust whom they’ve used. Once you’ve got the right person in place, you’ll find you start to unwind.
- Leave your work at home, but take a large notebook and plenty of pens with you! Taking your ever-so-mobile world with you may have become part of your daily routine, but the whole point of a holiday is to have a break from your routine. Leave it. Seriously, you’ll thank us for this one!
When did you first feel confident enough in your business to take a holiday? Did you find it had a positive impact on your business? We’d love to hear your experiences.
Hannah and Dinah