As a business owner myself I have just had my first 2 week holiday.
Most small business owners have locked themselves into a situation of never being able to have a holiday or take any time away from their business. If they do have time away from their business, a lot of holiday time is consumed by phone calls to and from the business, checking on the business and fielding questions from their employees.
It is very hard, especially with today’s technology and the use of smartphones for email, texting and being contactable by telephone virtually anywhere and at anytime.
So did I enjoy my holiday? Yes I did. was I constantly interrupted while I was away? No I wasn’t.
Here are some of my tips for how to have a break from your business without your business breaking down.
- Systemise your business processes before you go away, and make sure they are working effectively. You can’t achieve this the week before you go away. Some systems can be documented easily, but others may be more complicated and take more time to design, implement and review.
In simple terms you should have a system or at the very least easily found instructions on what we do, what we use to do it (and where to find it), when it has to be done by, and who does it.
- Effective delegation – again it is best not to leave this until the last-minute. Let your team know:
- what they need to do
- when they can and should do it
- what level and type of decisions they have authority to make
- for what types of issues they should contact you
- what is the best time and method to contact you and what timeframe they can expect a response
- what kind of information or report you require at the end of the day or week
- Choose a specific time of day or days when you will check emails (and let your team know that is when you will be checking).Determine in advance what type of emails you will respond to and only respond to those emails. Your customers and clients should know you are away from the office as all email programs should have an automatic ” out of office” reply which you can use to advise people you are away, when you will be back, who they should contact if they need assistance before you get back.Remember not everything your team thinks is urgent will actually be urgent or important!If you tell your team or your customers that you are available all of the time, they will expect that you will be available for them any time.
Keep in mind that the point of a holiday is to have a break. to recharge, spend time with family.