Summer has finally arrived, and we are all thinking of heading off to enjoy it. While there is a lot to do here in Milton Keynes, after the lockdown and then the rush to get things going again, I suspect most of us will want a few days away. While we are the first to admit that a picnic near the pyramid in Campbell park sounds fun, even we are thinking of taking a few days off somewhere to unwind. As an accountancy practice that deals with all kinds of enterprises though, we fully understand that taking some time off can be a big ask for many business owners. Ironically, as hard as time off can be, we all do need a break and most of us tend to work much more efficiently after a holiday. Sadly, it can be a catch 22 situation if you run a small business, where you always seem to the be the person left behind while everyone else enjoys the summer.
Here are a few thoughts to either help you find time to get away or give you a little peace of mind if you do.
- Do the credit control before you go. It’s only one time out of the year so perhaps you could shake things up and do a little anticipatory credit control. Why not consider an extra call or email explaining you are off on your holidays so things may be a little different this month? Sometimes this results in customers paying on the spot and it is also an opportunity to remind them of their actual terms if they are one of those ‘last reminder’ payers.
- Xero and other accounts software can be a touchstone. If you are one of those people who cannot take a break without needing to check in, why not use your accounts software to take a hands-off view of the business? If your team are keeping things up to date (see the next section) and you still can’t resist checking in, a remote view of the accounts is a good way to do so. Our advice is consider limiting your interactions though… remember you are on holiday. Try to avoid letting a quick look to see how things are going becoming a gateway to working remotely.
- Can you delegate? This is a double-edged question. Firstly, can you actually delegate some of your workload for a few days and the work still happen? If not, then you need to plan for the time off by either front stacking your work or clearing your diary. The other meaning in this question is whether you actually capable of delegating mentally as well as physically. It’s hard to let someone else cover for you sometimes, so perhaps this holiday is the right time to learn to let go and trust your team.
- Take an extra couple of days out of the office before or after your actual holiday. This may seem odd but bear with me. If you are taking a break from work, you are going to have a very different mind-set for a while. Why not build up to the mental gear shift into holiday mode or return to work mode by designating a couple of planning days away from home and work. A different mindset and a change of location is the ideal way to do some long-term planning because you can’t fall into the trap of working in your business rather than on your business.
- Come see us for a chat. Well, OK, not just for a chat but if you do decide to take the opportunity to work on your planning why not follow it up with a session with one of our team to discuss your plans for the business?
We all deserve a break and small business owners are no different. Being an accountant these days is about providing you the right service so that you can take the time away. Come and talk to us if we can help.