According to a survey by accounting software provider Xero, three quarters of business owners admit to working during their holiday. And a shocking 17% take no time off at all.
This certainly chimes with our experience of working with business owners; few feel they can take time off with utter confidence that their business will run smoothly while they’re away.
For owners of creative and technical businesses – who often feel that the company is particularly dependent on their own skills, knowledge or contacts – the problem can be even worse. Yet, if you run a creative agency or technical service business, being able to take a break can pay dividends.
Bad for your health – and the health of your business
The obvious downside of not taking any quality time away from the business – and no, answering emails at the beach doesn’t count as quality time – is that you end up physically and mentally worn down. This not only affects your own morale and performance; employees can easily tell when a business owner is getting fed up, or lacking the creative energy they used to have.
An inability to step back can also have a negative impact on the wider business culture. When you work all hours with no meaningful break away from the business, your team can feel guilty for knocking off at 5pm or not answering emails while on holiday. This culture of being ‘permanently connected’ isn’t healthy for anyone.
Seeing the bigger picture
When you’re entrenched in the business, it’s easy to focus only on its day-to-day running. By briefly stepping away, you gain a fresh perspective and become productive in a different way: dreams, goals and ideas rather than everyday details. Isn’t that why you started your creative agency or technical business in the first place?
In this way, taking a breather from the business allows you to see the bigger picture, and can inspire you with new ideas for taking the business forward. Think of it as refilling your creative well, if you like. Plus, having had a genuine break, even just a short one, you have greater appetite for tackling new opportunities, like attracting other clients or improving your service offering.
Benefitting the business as a whole
For owners of creative or technical businesses, it also helps to be reminded that the company doesn’t fall apart just because they’re not around. When you’re temporarily absent, employees have the space to take on extra responsibility – most will rise to the challenge and then some. That’s great for morale and engagement.
At Henchards, we’ve been helping creative and technical businesses thrive for over 16 years – part of which involves making the business less reliant on the owner. For practical strategies to make your business less dependent, so that you can take time off with confidence, talk to Henchards.