How many times a year do you go away? How long has it been since you have been away for longer than 4 days? Being a Small Business Owner you can fall into the trap of it being years since you have been away. What you need to understand is that it is important to get away and recharge your batteries.
As a Small Business Owner I can totally understand why Business Owners don’t go away. It has been more years than I care to admit to since I was last on a holiday. But after being away for a week I can now tell you that it is really really important for you to take a break from your business and have some timeout.
In today’s blog I want to go over the most common excuses Small Business Owners have as to why they can’t go on holidays. And then give you some tips on how to overcome these excuses.
If I don’t work I don’t get paid
Most Small Business Owners work for an hourly rate, if they don’t work then they will not get paid. This is one of the main reasons they will not go on holidays (it was mine). But you can overcome this.
If you are getting paid weekly from a few clients for what work you did the previous week, then you can implement a system to help get you paid while you are away. You can take off a few hours each week from what you are charging them and then charge them those hours while you are away. That way cash never stops coming into the business.
I had a client where I would have a set weekly rate with him for each week to be paid. This amount was for 20 hours of work a week. I always seemed to work over 20 hours, so we set up a time in lieu system where anything I worked over the 20 hours was kept on a spreadsheet so that when it came time to go on leave, I could get paid still from the hours I had accumulated over time. This way the person I was working for knew how much he was paying me each week and I knew that I could take holidays and still have cash flow coming in.
If you don’t have regular clients like I did in the above example. You can set up a bank account that is separate to your Trading Account and put into one clients payment each week. So if you are seeing 30 clients a week, you put 29 clients payments into your trading account and 1 clients payment into your separate bank account. Then when you have built up enough money in that account to equal 30 clients work, you can go away.
Set up some multiple sources of income, so you don’t rely on the one source of income. If you have income coming in from clients, you could also work out how you could get people to advertise on your website, or you can get affiliate payments or commissions for sales of product and services that aren’t your direct line of business. Find a way that when you are away you are still earning money.
I don’t need a holiday I love what I do
This is a big one for me. It was what I would say all the time. I love my work, I really enjoy what I do and I could do it all year round with out a break and not get sick of it. I HAVE done it all year round and not got sick of it. BUT you still need a holiday. You still need to unwind, climb some mountains, sit on the beach, enjoy time with your family.
You will get ran down, fatigued and start resenting your business and your clients if you don’t take the time to have a holiday. One week of no commitments, no setting the alarm, no demands from clients, doing nothing, or very little helps you recharge your batteries and enjoy your business more. It also helps bring you closer to your family, as they get to spend time with you.
When you come back to work you are full of energy, enthusiasm and can’t wait to get stuck back into your business. Your clients will see this and appreciate you even more.
My clients would look elsewhere if I had time off
If you had clients that couldn’t wait around for you to have a week or two off, then they are not the clients you really want. It doesn’t matter if they are good paying clients or clients that are good to work with, if they don’t respect you enough to understand that we all need holidays then they are not who you want to be working with.
Most of your clients will be understanding, even love the fact that you are going on holidays. I mean, look at what they are seeing from their point of view, a dedicated, hardworking person who never takes holidays, so they are often grumpy or fatigued because they never have down time. Their work sometimes suffers because of this as well.
Or someone who is reenergised, feeling awesome and can’t wait to get back to their business and pump out the work. Having holidays is awesome, but working in their business is where they want to be so they are happier and healthier for that holiday.
I’m too busy
This is the case for all Small Business Owners, especially the ones that don’t have staff. There is always something to do, work in the business, work on the business, paying the bills, bookkeeping, stock ordering, sales, marketing and the list goes on. But sometimes we use that list as an excuse not to look after ourselves.
If you are too busy to go on a holiday then you need to really look at your business and restructure it. Put some systems in place to make the work flow easier, employ someone, or get a Virtual Assistant to help you with some of your tasks. Or just take the attitude that the work will be there when you get back, so it can be left for a week.
If you had a sick family member that had to be in hospital, you would find the time to be there for them, to do what you can. Don’t let it get to this stage before you have a break. Plan for your holiday, make your clients aware you are going away well in advance to when you are and schedule your work around this.
I can’t afford it
This is just and excuse and you know it. Holiday’s don’t have to cost a fortune and if you really wanted that new computer, or new TV then you would find the money. Well find the money for your holiday.
The best way to do this is to open a separate bank account and each week put $100 into it. This bank account is separate from the one I mentioned above where you put one clients work of money into it each week. This bank account is purely to be used to pay for your holiday. Even if it takes you a year to save up for the holiday that you really want to have.
Or work out what holiday you really want to have, work out when you want to have it and then work out how much money you need to put aside each week. Start doing that, immediately. If that hurts your cash for other business expenses, then find a way to get more clients so you don’t compromise on how much you are putting away for your holiday.
It can be done and the sooner you recognise that not having the money is just an excuse the sooner you will get on a holiday. How much would it cost to go camping for a week on a nice riverbank fishing and sleeping and connecting with nature for the week? Not much, and if this is your dream holiday then you can go real soon.
Do you have a family member or friend that lives out of town that you haven’t seen for a while? Then how much would it cost to jump in the car and go see them for a week? You don’t need to do anything else but sit around and chat to them.
There are plenty of ‘cheap’ options for holidays, so don’t let money, or lack of it, be an excuse for not going away.
My staff need too much supervision
If this is your reason for not going on holidays, then you need to either change your staff or change the way you are teaching them. If you have an Apprentice and you are the only other person in the business, then you will need to give your Apprentice a holiday at the same time. But if you have other staff that can’t run your business for a week or so then you really need to look at your staff.
Put systems in place, write up check lists, train them in areas that they need training in, control what clients they work with while you are away. It is only a week or two that you will be going for, have more faith in your staff.
I would love to hear from you about what is your excuse for not going away. Or tell me how you overcome your excuses and went away anyway.