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As a business owner, can you afford to take a holiday?

What does the average business owner pack for their holidays? Sun cream? Of course. Currency? Definitely. Laptop? Sadly, probably.

The ‘holiday period’ should be a time to look forward to, a time to relax and recharge. But, if you’re a business owner, it may be a time of anxiety, tension and a period to just ‘get through’. Perhaps, like many business owners, you feel you can’t take a holiday at all.

It can be a fraught journey from the business being totally dependent on you to a situation where all you need is a light touch to keep everything on track while you’re away. Sometimes it’s fraught for genuine business reasons, but sometimes it can appear that way due to your own perceptions.

What are you worried about?

What is really likely to happen to the business when you’re away? My own experience working with owner-managers reveals that some feel a significant challenge about taking holidays or being away from the business for any extended period. In part, this is due to a sense of vulnerability about the business you’ve created. After all, it’s where you spend a very significant amount of time – and for most business owners it’s the vehicle through which their family’s future wealth and lifestyle is dependent.

However, the anticipation of something actually going wrong is far greater than the reality. With a bit of planning most business owners, once they’re away, find that their team is better able to cope than they had expected and, in fact, the team had relished the opportunity.

Making your business less reliant on you

In many ways, a successful business is one that can stand on its own two feet and function well even when the business owner isn’t around. Part of being a successful business owner, therefore, is learning to disengage (if only for a little while) from the company you’ve spent all this time building. There are a number of things you can do to help you disengage from the business without it all falling apart, including appointing someone else to temporarily take the helm and having a clear contingency plan.

Throughout June, as the days get longer and we start polishing our flip flops, I’ll be looking at these techniques, and more, to help you prepare for taking some time away from your company.

A key element of the work I do with clients is to help businesses become more self-running and less dependent on the owner(s) for day-to-day operations. In this respect, my mission is accomplished when your suitcase is packed … and the laptop is left behind in the office. Not only is this bit of distance good for family life and achieving much-needed balance, it’s also a key part of your company’s business continuity plan and, eventually, your exit plan. To my mind, the question isn’t can you afford to take a holiday – it’s can you afford not to?

Get in touch to find out how Henchards can help your business succeed this summer and beyond.

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