Taking time off when you’re self-employed and run your own business is often tricky – there’s no such thing as holiday pay, for one thing, and your customers may expect you to be at their beck and call, regardless of whether you are in London or Lisbon. Here are some tips for summer holiday survival.
Plan your workload and targets
Sometimes you’ve just got to accept that you won’t get as much work done in August when everyone is away, especially if you have children and limited childcare. Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve and plan your workload around this. Flex your monthly targets around holidays so they are a bit lower over the summer season.
Take your kids to work
If you are stuck for childcare, you could even take your children to the office. If they are old enough they can even help out!
Manage your customers’ expectations
Advise your current clients well in advance of the dates that you will be away (at least two months) – so that they can schedule their projects in accordingly. Explain that you will have access to email while you’re away, but try and schedule in as much as you can before and after.
Make sure everything is up to date
Block out some extra time in your diary before you go to deal with those last minute projects tht always seem to arise. Arrange some extra childcare or reschedule social events.
Hire a virtual assistant
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) who can keep an eye on things for you and give you an update when you need it will give you peace of mind that everything’s in hand while you’re away
Switch your phone off
Nothing ruins a holiday more than taking a business call on the beach. “If you’re feeling brave, turn off your phone! It’s hard to do, but it helps to remind yourself that actually you are not indispensible. If you record a voicemail message which expains when you’ll be able to return a call, your customers will hopefully forgive you. In fact, at this time of year, they’re probably thinking of taking a holiday themselves.”
Go somewhere within a UK timezone!