How to Take Time Off as a Business Owner
If you’re a “normal” employee, then you can expect to receive at least 28 days of annual leave to enjoy. However, this isn’t the case for the self-employed. With all the stress that comes with running a business, sometimes you need to take a well-earned rest. But, how do you it?
Taking holidays is different from self-employed people. You don’t think just about the ticket price of the holiday and all the spending money. You also think about the revenue you’re missing out on by being away – and that’s even if you have staff.
In this article, the Panthera team will explain how you can prepare your business so that you can take some time off, without leaving your employees stressed and your clients confused.
Start your planning early
This is especially important if you are the only person working on your business. As fun as “spur of the moment” trips can be, they will harm your business if you don’t plan ahead.
If your business is affected by seasonal influxes of customers or if you have big projects lined up, then you might want to hold off on your holiday. Take a look at your cash flow forecasts and see when you are needed the most and plan your breaks accordingly.
Make sure your staff are ready
If you employ any members of staff, whether they total just one or fifty, then you need to make sure that you can leave your business safely in their hands. They need to be able to cope with what they normally do and handle the unexpected or the unfamiliar.
An example of this could be that a client is unhappy with some of the work that they have done. No matter how well they might be trained in their roles, if they have no customer-facing experience, this could leave a client unhappy and dissatisfied.
Before you go away, make sure that your employees are prepared for every and any circumstance that you can think of.
Be prepared for an emergency
You will still need to be reachable while you are away. Give your staff as many different ways of contacting you, just in case. This could take the form of a personal email, your mobile phone number, or even just the times of day when you wouldn’t mind them ringing you.
If you completely disconnect yourself from your business while you are away, then you are only making life more difficult for your employees.
Be prepared for an “emergency”
That being said, you need to explain what actually warrants disturbing you while you are away. Your staff need to have a good idea of what they can deal with without calling you. It is a holiday, after all.
Explain to your employees the kind of situation that they should tell you about and what they should be able to tackle themselves. This requires a good level of communication between you, as a business owner, and your workforce.
Reassure your staff. If they say they can handle a situation without but that situation actually arises and they need your help, make sure that they know it’s alright for them to contact you.
Inform your clients
If you’re the only person in your business, you don’t want to come back from your holiday to find that 2 weeks of work has just piled up in your absence.
This is where planning comes in - tell your clients in advance that you are planning to take some time off and ask them to save some work for when you get back. This way, you will still have a healthy work load waiting for you when you get back, without it being unmanageable.
The way to get the outcome you want here is with open and clear communication. Having a dialogue with your clients will help them understand your level of capacity for work now and on your return.
If you have staff, try a similar approach – let clients know you’ll be away and ask them to contact you about new quotes and new jobs on your return.