Long school holidays and warm weather are wonderful but bring with them some business challenges.
If you have staff, there will be increased requests for holiday, but the work won’t take a break when they do. If you have children, you want to spend more time with them, and if you work from home, it can be more difficult than usual to manage the competing needs of family and business.
It can seem as though, for the small business owner, summer is very far from being all sunshine and strawberries. It is easy to feel that the business won’t manage without you and you can’t take a holiday. But, a holiday is critical for small business owners.
Small business owners tend to work considerably longer hours than the average employee and have a huge level of responsibility. Working extremely long hours over a sustained period can result in reduced productivity, ill health, strained family relationships and burnout. Taking a holiday is an investment in both you and your business. It is just as necessary to invest in your relationships as it is in your business. You will return from a short break reinvigorated, rested, and ready to hit the ground running. You will probably bring back a few new ideas for your business too.
To keep your business running smoothly whilst you are away:
Let clients know ahead of time so that their expectations are managed.
Make sure you have submitted invoices promptly so that income continues to come into the business.
Get your work as up-to-date as possible before you take time off. Hand anything that needs to be completed during your absence to a trusted staff member or your Virtual Assistant. Try and get to a point where you feel confident that you are ahead of the game and will not worry too much about what is happening back at the office.
If you are the only person who can complete the task ahead of time or renegotiate the deadline with the client.
If you have staff, ensure they know what work needs to be completed in your absence, the deadlines, and when and how they can contact you.
If possible, leave some gaps in your work diary so you can slot in any last-minute tasks without feeling overwhelmed and working through the night the day before your holiday to get it all done.
Scheduling your social media and other marketing in advance is a great time saver and ensures you have an online presence even when you are at the waterpark with the kids.
If you blog or Vlog, perhaps create a couple of extras before the summer period so you can use them during the summer if you need to. You could also ask someone to guest blog during the holiday season or ask your Virtual Assistant to research and write a couple of posts for you, so all you have to do is check and upload them. Your assistant can then schedule links to your chosen social media channels if you don’t have time to do it yourself.
To Ensure your Holiday runs smoothly
Plan your diary and appointments well ahead to know which days you will work and which days you will devote to family. By creating a plan around family commitments and key business activities, you can feel confident that you can juggle it all successfully and feel less stressed.
It is a great idea to put family time in the diary just as though it was a meeting or business event to ensure it happens. I do this all the time and find it helps me to know how much time I have available each week for my work tasks.
Have a digital holiday. Plan to check phone messages and emails once a day at a set time. If you have left staff running the business, let them know when you will be checking in, but tell them to contact you only in an emergency.
Balancing work and home life during the school holidays
Planning and knowing when things will happen can reduce stress and overwhelm.
If it is feasible, perhaps follow a more flexible working pattern on the days you plan to work and spend time with your family. Perhaps working whilst family has a lie in or when children are at supervised activities.
If you have staff, you could delegate a bit more work to them during the holiday season.
If you don’t normally have staff but are struggling to keep up with everything and still see your family, then why not outsource some of the routine admin work to a Freelance Administrator? The administrator can take the strain so you can relax with your family.
If you aren’t sure where to start and need a hand, please get in touch with me.