Taking time off as a small business owner

Most small business owners, sole traders, and freelancers rarely take time off work. A fifth of small business owners in the UK didn’t have a single day off work last year, and more than half only have five or fewer days every year. Many of these people work six days a week, and even on the seventh spend time checking work emails and social media feeds and checking in with the office. Many small business owners don’t take time off when they are ill and haven’t been on holiday for years.

The funny thing, of course, is that one of the reasons that people go it alone is to find a better work-life balance and to work more flexibly. Then, reality hits. There’s no holiday or sick pay when you work for yourself as a freelancer or sole trader, and as a small business owner, you might not be able to afford to pay it to yourself. Taking time off often means that your business takes time off. It stops or slows, which can be costly. And even small businesses with a team of employees can suffer when the boss takes a break.

But, taking time off is essential. Without it, you become stressed and don’t work at your best. You get ill. Your relationships suffer. You resent a job that you loved, and everything can become too much. Here are some tips to help you to take more time off.

Remember That You Need it

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Remind yourself of all those reasons that you need to take a break. Tell yourself that it’s for the good of the business because you will come back feeling refreshed and full of good ideas if that makes you feel better about it.

Plan it in

As a small businesses owner, you are unlikely to be able to just drop everything to take a week off when you fancy it. This could have terrible consequences for your business. So, schedule it in. Plan a trip in a few months time, and you’ve got plenty of time to make the appropriate arrangements so that your business doesn’t miss you.

Secure Your Holiday Pay

If you work as a freelancer or solopreneur, one of your biggest worries might be holiday pay and making sure you’ve got some. The easiest way to secure holiday pay is by saving a little of your wages each week in a separate account. But, using side hustles or investments after researching Etrade fees can be a great way to give yourself an extra income.

Set an Out of Office Email

It can be so tempting to keep checking emails while you are away, which can ruin your holiday. It’s important that you can forget about work, at least for a while. Setting an out of office email will help to reduce disruptions.

Schedule and Automate

If you work alone, scheduling and automating in advance can mean that your business doesn’t have to take time off when you do. Blog posts, social media messages, and emails can all be set to go out whenever you want them to.

*This is a contributed post

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