Starting and running a small business is a labour of love albeit a challenging one at times. Like anything in life, it’s important to take a break and recharge. If you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering if it’s possible to take a break without worrying. The key is preparation. While working in your small business may not afford you spontaneity, taking the time to plan can leave you sweating the sun and not the small stuff.

If you’re a small business owner and you haven’t taken a break in a while, read on to find out how you can switch off while your business ticks over.

 

Plan ahead

Planning is one of those of tasks you need to make time for. In the busy world of a small business owner, making time to plan can easily fall to the bottom of the list, but without a plan there’s no rest. As the lifeline of any small business is customers, we recommend you give them at least six weeks notice that you’ll be away. If you have a backup plan in place and someone to fill in for you, take that opportunity to let your customers know who the point of contact is while you’re away.

It’s not just customers and clients, if your business relies on vendors, be sure to let them know too. Don’t forget to set an email autoresponder letting people know you’re away and who they can contact if it’s urgent.

Delegate to trusted parties

Small business owners are often very attached to their businesses. Having poured blood, sweat and tears into getting the idea off the ground, it can be difficult to hand over the reigns even if it’s only for a week or two. The first part of delegating is learning to let go and finding trustworthy and reliable sources of help you can hand over to.

Effectively delegating takes time, commitment and communication. Be mindful that tasks that are second nature to you may take someone else a little longer to catch on. Be clear in what you need done and be sure to document procedures and steps, including contingency plans.

Delegating is not just about outsourcing tasks, it’s about picking the people for the job. Do your due diligence and don’t take shortcuts as the wrong skill set can quickly turn your holiday from dream to disaster. Before you leave, run through key tasks to make sure everyone is familiar with the plan.

Manage expectations

A big part of knowing you can let go is managing your expectations and setting boundaries. For boundaries to be effective, they need to be adhered to and this is something many small business owners struggle with. With wifi offered everywhere, switching off and managing expectations is about making a conscious choice to physically and mentally disconnect and instead be present for yourself or the out of work company you are with.

If the thought of completely disconnecting fills you with dread, be disciplined about managing your time. Set aside an hour or two to check-in and check your emails and let your team know you’ll be contactable during that time. When you’re done checking in, switch off to manage your time and expectations.

Leverage the latest technology

Depending on the type of small business you run, technology can help you predict busy periods and in extensions, manage them. Businesses specifically eCommerce and online businesses can use Google Trends to help plan and predict when busy periods may be and when you should start planning your marketing campaigns.

If social media plays a key role in your business, consider implementing a social media management tool like Hootsuite to schedule your posts. Using an online accounting and bookkeeping software like Xero can also provide you and your bookkeeper complete visibility over your finances from anywhere in the world.

 

By learning how to leverage technology and establish boundaries between work and play, you can switch off without worrying about the day-to-day. Find out how H&R Block can take care of your books while you take care of yourself today.

Does your business need help?

With expert set up and support, H&R Block can help you navigate the accounting and tax responsibilities that comes with running a business. Contact our team of bookkeepers today for more information.

Contact us

Does your business need help?

With expert set up and support, H&R Block can help you navigate the accounting and tax responsibilities that comes with running a business. Contact our team of bookkeepers today for more information.

Contact us