From Legal Futures’ Associate Quill.
It’s estimated that three quarters of small business owners forego holidays in order to keep things running smoothly at work. An inestimable number of senior workers are unable to fully switch off when on holiday over worries that issues will crop up that can’t be resolved without them.
But everyone needs a holiday…
Holidays help you to maintain a happy work-life balance. Furthermore, a relaxing break can give you the headspace to reflect on your business so that, instead of focusing on day-to-day problem solving, you can think about dream building to begin the next phase for your company.
We’ve put together these essential business planning tips to ensure you, like the rest of us, can take time out this summer and enjoy a much-needed holiday:-
Delegate tasks and trust your team
It’s a mistake to assume your colleagues can’t cope without you. If you’ve recruited carefully, you should have confidence that your co-workers possess the right skills to manage just fine on their own.
Appoint someone to act on your behalf in your absence, define the circumstances under which an emergency call to you may be made and have faith that team members will make the right decisions. Not only does this allow you some all-important downtime out of the office, it’s empowering for your team to know you believe in them.
Plan for disciplined use of technology
Keeping a loose eye on your business while holidaying may be unavoidable. Put systems in place to allow you to do this. Where your practice management and legal accounts system’s concerned, with a cloud-hosted set up, you can access remotely anytime, anywhere, any device to your matter and financial data. Even from the poolside! Our Interactive software’s a case in point.
Set yourself limits, though, otherwise you’ll get drawn in unnecessarily. Find a convenient slot in your day whereby you have an opportunity to log in, such as the half hour before heading out for your evening meal. Be attentive to pressing matters only. The rest can wait.
Instruct temporary (or permanent!) outsourcing support
Gauge the level of business you’re likely to receive throughout peak holiday season and work out staffing levels. It won’t only be yourself taking leave; your colleagues will too. If you don’t have sufficient cover, hire temporary support.
The easiest and best way to do this is by employing an outsourcing provider for your back office functions, for example legal cashiering, typing, payroll and pensions. These services, like Quill’s, can be turned on almost overnight, tapped into for short-term periods or engaged on a permanent basis for continuous cover regardless of your firm’s hectic holiday schedule.
Also, remember the cloud software mentioned earlier? If provided complete with outsourced IT management, the same as Interactive, there are none of the usual concerns about technical issues which you’d be helpless to rectify by not being physically present. With this type of arrangement, your IT provider will assume responsibility of all things IT and their uptime promise is your holiday relaxant.
Business automation is another tool for a stress-free holiday. If there are deadlines approaching for your in-progress matters, rather than relying entirely upon your colleagues’ powers of memory, set up diary reminders for them. When the note pops up in their calendar, they can utilise other time-saving features such as templates and precedents, and auto-populated content.
That’s what you get with Interactive. Popular form packs, report templates and MS Office integration mean that creating letters and documents takes seconds with diary reminders ensuring nothing’s missed.
To conclude, it’s not business as usual from a sunnier clime as this defeats the purpose of going away. Instead, put plans in place now which allow you to truly unplug on holiday. Not only will your family and friends appreciate it by getting to spend time with a calmer you, so too will your business which will benefit from your re-energised presence upon your return.
While a total work detox could be too tall an order, a holiday planned under mutually agreeable terms is a pretty good compromise.