Are you afraid to take a holiday?

No, I’m not joking. This is a particular problem for small business owners. One actually told me that he never took a holiday himself because, in his words, ‘I was worried that I wouldn’t have a business by the time I got back’.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. At least, not if you plan things properly beforehand…

But I am the business!

If you’re a sole trader, that may well be what you think. It may even be true. But it doesn’t mean you can’t take a break. And if you’re planning on having a life – as well as a business – then you actually need the occasional holiday. (Quite aside from the needs of others around you, who might quite reasonably like to see more of you than your back, hunched in front of the computer while you catch up with your accounts…)

Look at it another way. If you are your business, then your health and welfare are important to that business. Driving yourself into the ground will benefit no one, least of all the business. (You can’t do anything for your clients if you’re flat on your back in hospital.)

Luckily, there is another way…

Planning your holiday

As an organised person, one of the first things you’ll do when going on holiday is to make an itinerary – where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and where you’re staying when you do. And the second thing you’ll do is to make a list of what you’re taking.

(If that doesn’t sound like you, then now might be a great time to start…)

But before you do any of that, use the same process to plan your holiday. Make a list of your current projects – and any (predictable) future ones. An organised list of your current clients (that someone else can understand). And a planned schedule with a good, solid, two-week gap in it. That’s your holiday, and you do NOT accept any appointments or bookings that will interfere with it. (Go on. You can do it.)

Now share all those lists with a reliable, professional, virtual assistance service. (If you don’t know of one already, I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.) They’re the ones who will be taking your calls while you’re away. Who will be checking your emails – and sending you ONLY those that require your personal attention. Who will be setting up appointments for you on your return. And who will be fielding routine enquiries from current and potential clients on your behalf. So they will need proper instruction – hence those lists.

And if you have a business process they need to know about, write it down and share it with them. You’ll soon find you can do a lot less – and achieve a lot more. In fact you may well want to carry on using them when you get back.

Ready? Good. Now sort out that holiday (and I can point you in the right direction there, as well)…!

And if you’d like a little more guidance on outsourcing and delegation, do check out our blogs. Or give me a call on 01359 240717 and we can get together over a cup of coffee.