Recent research from Worldpay revealed that a fifth of small business owners have taken no more than a week off in the last three years. With the summer holidays coming up, it’s important to remember that all work and no play doesn’t only make Jack a dull boy but also a stressed and unhappy one. Joking aside, it can be difficult to take time off when you’re running a business. Yet having a break is essential not only to your wellbeing and relationships but also to your business.
A healthy business requires a healthy leader. When you’re working all the time, it can sometimes feel like you’re a hamster on a wheel but taking time out to relax has a number of benefits. Stress can have a serious impact on your health, causing insomnia, high blood pressure and muscle ache. It also impacts on your ability to run your business effectively. When you’re tired it can be difficult to concentrate; this can cloud your thinking and prevent you from getting a clear perspective on what’s going on with your business.
Taking time out to relax and unwind can reverse the health impacts of stress. The muscle tension in your shoulders will ease, your blood pressure will improve and you’ll sleep better, which means that you will be able to look at your business with a fresh perspective.
The long-term benefits of taking regular breaks can’t be overestimated, so consider what you can do to ensure your business is running smoothly while you’re away. If you’re employing people, delegate the tasks you can to your staff, who might welcome the opportunity to step up and play a more important role in the company. On the other hand, if you work alone, ensure that your suppliers and customers are aware that you’re away and that you will deal with their enquiries when you return. And, with many people reluctant to leave messages with automated answering services, a professional answering service will ensure that they get human contact and are reassured that they’re speaking to a representative of your business. Alternatively you could swap holiday cover with one of the other franchisees in your network as they will know your business almost as well as their own.
The idea of taking two weeks off work might seem impossible but a little creative thinking can always help. Being away from your day-to-day environment and giving yourself some distance from your franchise means that you return to work refreshed, revitalised and able to think clearly about your business.