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Running a business, no matter what its size, is damn hard work! You endure endless working hours, sleepless nights and a continuous conveyer belt of worries so you deserve a break from time to time. Taking time out to indulge in some well-earned rest and recuperation is vital for professional productivity and nurturing mental wellbeing but how can you be sure your business will cope without you?

Booking a holiday is exhilarating for employees who are counting the weeks until their next day off but it can be an extremely daunting prospect for business owners. You pour your blood, sweat and tears into making sure the cogs keep turning smoothly and the very idea of swapping this for piña coladas and sun lounging is enough to send shudders up your spine.

However, you can have the best of both worlds! Follow our top 10 tips on managing your business whilst aboard and you can once again bask in the benefits of the holiday season that you had long forgotten.

Give staff plenty of notice – We definitely advocate the importance of taking time out to relax but we aren’t suggesting you simply hop on the next flight outta here and send your baffled employees a ‘wish you were here’ postcard. Just as you would expect from them, give your staff plenty of warning when you’re planning a holiday to avoid any unnecessary panic or disruption.

Inform your clients – Similarly, you’re going to need to inform your clients of your holiday plans well ahead of schedule to avoid having any disgruntled customers. If your clients feel well informed then the whole operation will likely run as sweet as a (coco)nut but if they feel as though they have been left out of the loop, you can have a sticky situation on your hands.

Leave somebody in charge – Select a trustworthy staff member who you know can competently hold the fort for you while you’re away and temporarily step into your tightly-laced management shoes. Once you have delegated the responsibility, brief the chosen employee thoroughly and then make sure their contact details are readily accessible to you.

Prepare ahead of time – Delegation is great for ensuring that somebody has tight hold of the reigns while you catch up on the latest crime novel from your sun lounger by the sea but we advise ticking as many things off your to-do list beforehand. Get as many tasks done as possible before you jet off and there will less for you to worry about.

Get ahead of deadlines – On the same topic, ensure that you’re on top of any deadlines that are due to pop up during your holiday and even get one step ahead of any that are looming upon your return. If you have any accounts that need submitting or any payments that need processing for example, get them done before you even start packing and it’ll be a weight off your mind.

Take advantage of automation – Modern technology is a wonderful thing and has provided us with some brilliant inventions such as WordPress and Hootsuite that enable us to schedule our workloads ahead of time. Just because you’re taking some time out doesn’t mean your blog posts or online visibility should suffer so take a couple of hours to schedule some posts and ensure everything carries on ticking while you’re sipping on sangria.

Do a test run – This may seem a pretty daft idea, a waste of time even but conducting a trial run can go a long way to ensuring you have peace of mind and confidence in your unsupervised workforce. Take a couple of days off work and implement everything you plan to while you’re away. This will highlight any issues or obstacles that might rear their ugly heads in your absence and enable you to rectify them before the real deal.

Prepare for the worst – Leaving yourself and your staff unprepared is a recipe for business disaster and the mess you will have to clear up when you return will have you more stressed out than before you took off. Conduct some thorough briefing and preparation before you go and everything will likely go to plan but put some contingency plans into place as well, just in case.

Take your smartphone with you – As a business owner, it’s unreasonable to expect you to switch off completely and we mean this quite literally. Take your smartphone or tablet away with you so can check your emails one or twice a day to make sure your clients and staff can reach you in an emergency but also to ensure your own sanity. Keep email checking to a minimum thought because you’re there to enjoy some sunshine, not deal with the daily grind.

Relax! – Use the time away as it was intended – to relax, take some time out and refresh yourself before returning with an invigorated sense of motivation and improved productivity. A fraught and frazzled business owner is about as useful as a chocolate sun hat so in the name of entrepreneurialism, put your flip-flopped feet up!

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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Derek. Wormald
Derek. Wormald
29th July 2015 6:07 pm

I’ve done the smartphone option and checked emails and I’d say never again. Obviously it depends on your business. But a holiday is a holiday. Sort it before you go. And don’t work whilst away. This relates perhaps to my line of work…? Driving instructor.

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