Taking time off – easier said than done!

Schools have broken up and the summer holidays have arrived, however for many business owners having a break away from their business can be difficult. For the business owner, there are no paid holidays, no colleagues to hand work over to and customers and clients who still need looking after!

It will come as no surprise that in a recent study by Sage it has been shown that more than 30% of business owners do not take a summer holiday. Or at least a summer holiday where they completely shut off and step away from the business.  Most will have a summer holiday if they can stay at home or in the UK to keep tabs on the business.

Some other worrying trends that came out of the survey include a lack of a social life and an impact on their health:

  • Almost half cancel plans with friends and family at least once a week because of work
  • Over half a million small business owners just do not make any social plans purely because they know they are too busy with work to commit to them
  • A quarter of those surveyed admitted to falling ill due to being overworked and stressed

However, entrepreneurs and business owners know that setting up and running a business demands a huge commitment in time and effort and can also afford a decent work/life balance when managed correctly.  When running a business, you often find you are more than just the CEO and must manage multiple functions within the business, so it is important that they balance work with a social life to prevent being run down and becoming ill, which ultimately puts their business in jeopardy.

Taking time out away from the business can help reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and improve sleep, which in turn can lead to increased energy and more productivity.

As a business owner, you do need to take regular breaks away from work and recognise that this helps you from both a physical and mental well-being.

But it’s easier said than done!

So, what can you do to make sure that you do get regular breaks and how can you manage your time away.

Well firstly, plan your breaks in advance.  Go through your diary and work out when you have busy times and quiet times and book time off in your diary in advance.  Doing this at the beginning of the year is helpful as you can then work around the holidays.

Secondly, build a team around you.  This could either be an internal team and internal processes who know what needs to be done if you are not around or an external and outsourced team.  There are some great call handling companies and outsource PA companies who can handle incoming calls for you and deal with emails and enquiries while you are not there.

Knowing that this is being looked after will give you the opportunity to relax a bit more and take some of the pressure off and is more professional than customers thinking you are ignoring calls or not returning emails.

And if you do need to keep in contact while you’re away then control the amount of time you spend “working”.   We live in a world where connectivity is all around us so it is easy to access emails and internet from just about anywhere if absolutely needed.  Set yourself a limit and an allocated time to check in before switching everything off and getting back to enjoying your holiday.

At Aspirations Accountancy, we love helping business owners create the aspirational life they want in terms of their business and their lifestyle. Along with enabling businesses to feel in control of their accounts and finances; for it not to be something to dread, we add real value to your business thorough informative tried and tested tips and tricks.  If you would like to discuss how we can help you then please contact us and set up a meeting to discuss.