Well, the kids have broken up from school, and I’m really, really looking forward to my holiday.
As with most years, I take most of August off work. I’m spending a couple of weeks in Lanzarote. Then, when I get back, my little brother’s over from Japan, and he’s staying with us for a week.
But it takes a bit of planning taking a month off. So, as a business owner, what do you need to do before you go on a holiday so you can relax while you’re away and forget about business?
Step one is to plan before you go. Tell your customers or clients when you’ll be away, and plan your pre-holiday workload to make sure you do get everything done.
Part of that, of course, is delegating wherever possible. Make sure the team is ready to cope without you. For me, that’s a big one.
I have got a great team, so I do know what they can actually cope without me and, to be honest, they do better without me sticking my oar in! They can cover all the clients’ queries, and can actually make decisions on their own.
I automate some of the tasks, particularly around the finance side of my business. Nearly all of my invoices are automated and get sent out every month. Similarly, most of the payments are taken by direct debit, which is triggered by the invoices using Xero and Go Cardless.
I also automate a lot of other things. For example, I will still be sending out weekly newsletters each Thursday at 10:30am. But I’ve written them before I go, and they get sent out automatically.
If I can’t automate it or delegate it to the team, I look to outsource some stuff as well.
I do use external people to look after things even when I am there. For example, I have a call answering service.
I also sometimes use a virtual assistant to get some stuff done.
If you don’t have a team, outsourcing can be a great way of covering your work while you’re away.
I make sure that all my bills and taxes are paid before I’m away or I set up the payments before I go.
On a personal level, of course, it’s worth remembering that there is a self-assessment tax payment to be made on the 31st of July.
If you do have any other taxes or VAT due to be paid, make sure they’re set up before you go.
Take a break
Of course, it is good just to get a break, and that’s a big one for me.
Following the above steps does mean I actually do get to relax. I don’t like to be disturbed while I’m away unless it’s really, really, really urgent because, otherwise, I just don’t get to switch off.
That’s something I do recommend for everyone.
Even if you are on your own in business and do need to check your emails every now and then, do try and minimize it while you’re away, and have a great holiday.
So, I’ve got another week I’m in the office. If you’ve got any queries, give me a shout but, if it’s a hard query, wait until August and the team can look after it!
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