It’s important to realise that a healthy business requires a healthy leader. Taking proper care of your business includes taking proper care of yourself, so a holiday to recharge your batteries is a must: you’ll return to work refreshed, re-energised, refocused and possibly with some fresh perspective on your business.
Here are personal travel manager Nicole Edgar’s top eight reasons why going on holiday is good for your own health and that of your business.
For self-employed and small business owners, taking a holiday is a perfect opportunity to see how their business fares in their absence. It’s a chance to try to delegate tasks and relinquish some control: something that many entrepreneurs struggle with. This is a good opportunity to entrust and empower your staff, colleagues, buddy or locum, to make the right decisions and showcase their ability to carry on with business without you.
Taking a break can give you the opportunity to get a different perspective on their business. It can be hard to see the big picture but by placing yourself in a fresh and reinvigorating environment, you can use the headspace to come up with some great new ideas and observe how others run their businesses. You can implement good customer service practices and ‘wow’ factors, and you’ll have the chance to work ‘on’ your business, rather than just ‘in’ it.
For solo operators with no staff to assist, taking holidays means that they have to find a new support network to cover their time away. This could be a former colleague, locum or a virtual assistant. Having this sorted can come in handy in case of emergency. If sickness or other unexpected issues call you away from the business for a few days, it’s a good idea to have people at hand who understand how the company works and can hold the fort.
Solo entrepreneurs work longer hours than most people, which can hamper their productivity over the long-term as their exhaustion and stress levels build up. A holiday can help you recharge both body and mind, and it’s is also an opportunity to reconnect and spend some quality time with family and friends, restoring the balance between your personal life and the demands of your business.
There is never a perfect time to leave your business to go on holiday, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing so. Look at which time of year may best suit your business to go on holiday. For example, if you are an accountant, the end of financial year would probably be your busiest time. You’re probably exhausted and feel in desperate need a holiday at the time, but you’re better to choose dates based on when you know the business will be able to tick along without you there.
You are probably your company’s most valuable asset. You get your car serviced regularly so it runs efficiently, smoothly and has less chance of breaking down; you should apply the same standard of care to your body and mind. Ensuring that you are in peak condition will have a positive flow-on effect to your business.
As the person who owns and runs the company, your staff look to you to determine the culture of the business. If you toil away, day after day, you will create an unhealthy culture where your staff feel unable to take time off themselves. The best companies make sure that employees have a fair work/life balance. Remember happy employees = productive & loyal employees. Set the example by taking your annual leave.
When you travel, you have the opportunity to network with other travellers and business people in a relaxed, uncomplicated environment, allowing you to share ideas and absorb fresh thinking.
Once you’ve accepted that taking time off is a worthwhile business strategy, you need to commit to the concept fully. If you spend the whole time away glued to your laptop or smartphone, it doesn’t count as a true holiday. Try to unplug, turn off phones and computers, and take a complete break in order to reap the benefits. Setting aside an hour a day to deal with pressing issues can be a good way to ensure that you stay in touch with what’s happening in your business without spoiling your time off.
To learn more about Nicole or get in touch to start planning your next adventure you can view her profile here.