STEP OFF THE HAMSTER WHEEL!
Running your own business is a responsibility – it involves working in the business and on the business and this can become a bit overwhelming to the point at which it might feel like the only way to keep up is to turn the wheel faster and keep on running.
Warning! The cog on the wheel will wear and rupture – let the wheel have a rest! Take a break!
It may feel impossible to work out when fitting a break in would work if your bookkeeping and secretarial services business has clients who have regular tasks that need completing.
This is when time management comes into play.
Perhaps book holidays mid month to avoid month end tasks, avoid VAT quarter deadlines and year ends. With careful time management it is possible to get up to date and even ahead of the task list before going away. Communicate with clients, let them know you’re going away with plenty of notice, ask them if there is anything they’d like doing before you go, leave them feeling reassured everything is in control. Make an excellent diary note for exactly what needs to be completed in the first week back at the desk in the office.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, worrying about leaving the business, packing and who’s going to look after the pet etc… can get overwhelming.
Prioritise the worries.
Worry and focus on getting the business up to date, this is important.
Packing is incidental, unless you are planning a trip to the wilds you’ll be able to buy anything you’ve forgotten while you’re away, which will also support the local economy.
Perhaps (like me!) you like to leave your home and garden in order, do your best, but don’t let this worry zap your energy – an hour after returning home, emptying the suitcases, making a cup of tea and opening the post the tidiness will be lost, but, you’ll have more energy to tidy and clean at that point as you’ll be relaxed and energised after the break away.
A successful break is all in the planning!
Fail to plan, plan to fail!
Plan your holiday where you’ll get maximum pleasure so you’ll feel relaxed. Check the average weather for the area you might visit, it might not be a holiday if it rains every day! If you like peace and quiet don’t stay in the a bustling resort or town, use the internet, tools like www.TripAdvisor.com can be invaluable to check out this type of information and ask around people you know to research where to go.
Some advice is to leave devices at home to enjoy a real break. Only you can decide if this is what will work for you and your business. It can be more relaxing to feel in control and have mobile phones and laptops available.
If you intended to take devices make sure you are set up to use mobile phones abroad without hefty tariffs, use a synced email account like Office 365, cloud storage for documents, put in place some measures like answer phone messages and auto responder emails that let the people know you are not at your desk but they will get an answer within 24 hours. That way access to devices can be restricted to an hour a day to pick up messages and respond reliably to relevant ones.
Alternatively find a member of staff or agency who you can trust to provide cover.
At Knutsford Admin, as business owner, when I’ve taken holidays I have conscientious reliable part-time staff I can leave in charge at the office, whilst I provide support by being available on email once or twice a day.
For our clients we have also provided cover for phones and emails when they have been away. In our experience, if an enquiry comes in, or, an existing customer calls, when they receive a personal response either solving their problem or advising that the person who can deal with their query will be back on a set date they are happy.
Knutsford Admin is proud to always offer excellent customer service, and it would be a shame to think that a new enquiry came in whilst the owner was away and we missed an opportunity of possibly engaging a new client – especially as we really love learning about new businesses and genuinely enjoy a variety of work coming through the office. But, if, as the owner, I didn’t take a rest, my hamster wheel would break and there would be a risk of losing existing clients too, so a holiday is good for me, clients, and the business in general! Knutsford Admin is still in its infancy as it grows there will be increasing full time cover during holiday times.
Here’s wishing all business owners happy, restful and energising holidays.
If you have read to the end of this you may be interested in a couple of articles found during research whilst writing this blog post.
Richard Branson on How to Take an Inspiration Vacation
Time-poor entrepreneurs: take a break to boost your small business