How to take a holiday without abandoning your business

So how can you take a successful holiday without feeling like you’re neglecting your business? Matt Perkins, Head of SME Engagement at FreeAgent – which provides a multi-award winning cloud accounting system for freelancers, contractors and micro-businesses – gives four tips that should help you take a guilt-free break.

Automate your tasks

If you’re worried about work piling up up while you’re taking a break, you may find that automating some of these tasks gives you the confidence to step away from your desk. Could you use an automatic out-of-office email responder or a tool like Hootsuite to automate your social media posts, for example? Or set up automatic email reminders in FreeAgent to chase outstanding invoices while you’re away? Try automating as many tasks as you’re comfortable with and, if you need ideas, check out these tips for automating your work life.

Outsource some of your work

Automation is useful for day-to-day activities, but what about the tasks that need an expert touch? In these cases, you may want to consider outsourcing instead. For example, you could hire a virtual assistant to answer your emails and take your phone calls while you’re away. Or you could use a resource like Elance to find a freelancer who could complete a specific project during your vacation. You may even find that it’s better for your business to continue outsourcing some of these tasks once you’re back from your break too.

Get by with a little help from your friends

If you don’t fancy outsourcing work to a business you’re not familiar with, could you call upon someone in your existing business network instead? Perhaps you have a freelancing friend who could take over a project for a share of the payment, and you could return the favour for them in the future. Or if you’re a member of an organisation like the National Enterprise Network or IPSE, perhaps you could form an arrangement with another member to take on some of your work while you’re away and who can contact you in case of emergency?

Consider a “worliday”

Taking a vacation doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to make a complete break from your business. It might sound controversial, but perhaps taking your laptop and blocking out a small amount of time each day for important work tasks before hitting the beach could be the key to a relaxing break without feeling like you’re abandoning your business? By using this “worliday” mentality you won’t miss anything important, but you’ll still have plenty of free time to enjoy your break. And, as you’ll be taking care of some jobs while you’re on holiday, you’ll also avoid the dreaded stress of rushing to get everything finished before you leave.

Matt Perkins, Head of SME Engagement at FreeAgent.