If you run a business it can be difficult to justify taking time off. But with summer on the horizon, you probably need a break as much as the rest of us. So how do you go about taking time off? Andrew Diver, Head of Tax for Beatons Group, looks at how to enjoy a well-deserved holiday.
There are many benefits to running a business. The flexibility, freedom and lack of office politics are all cited by entrepreneurs as perks – as well as the opportunity to strike a better work life balance. Ironic then that many find it tough to justify taking a week or two off in the summer.
A business survey last year found that 30% of small business owners only have a summer holiday if they stay at home or within the UK in order to keep tabs on their business. A quarter take no time off at all.
The dangers of overworking are potentially deadly, with those who work a 55-hour work week facing a 33% increased risk of having a stroke.
Meanwhile, research coming out of the US and Israel recently suggests that people who take holidays return feeling healthier and psychologically more robust.
So how do you do it without your business suffering?
Set up systems
All businesses need effective systems and no role should be wholly reliant upon a single individual.
One method of keeping some of these aspects functioning outside of employee holiday, sickness and absence is to consider outsourcing some of these services:
- Book-keeping and data entry
- Preparation of management accounts monthly/quarterly/bi-annual
- Purchase ledger management and supplier payments
- Sales ledger management and credit control
- Payroll and auto enrolment
- VAT, CIS and statutory returns
Before you go anywhere, look closely at your cashflow. Make sure key suppliers and staff will be paid on time. This will make them less likely to chase you while you are taking a break.
In theory, taking time off means stopping all work-related activities. Yes, even your emails! But this is often an impossibility.
But if you really think that you can’t switch off entirely for a long period of time, you could consider taking shorter, more frequent breaks.
A smattering of long weekends throughout the year could be a better alternative to 10 days in the Maldives. Although I know which one I would prefer...
Another option is taking a vacation from, say, Wednesday to Wednesday, which means you are in the office on both working weeks but you still get a seven-night break.
Take a digital detox
Taking a holiday doesn’t have to be a beach break either.
Simon Cowell has been without a mobile phone for 10 months as he felt too tied to the screen.
But if you're going to take a holiday – a digital detox is one of the best ways to unwind.
Flexibility pays off
The most successful businesses can adapt to accommodate holiday absence, employee sickness and changes to staffing.
This is because they understand when extra external support is required to make systems run smoothly.
One of the methods of creating flexibility like this is to outsource your financial administration.
At Beatons we have a dedicated management accounting and financial outsourcing team who can offer bespoke support and assistance to businesses for peace of mind and continuity throughout the business, throughout the year.
To learn more how we can help you call on 01473659777 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org