June 30, 2014 Research conducted by Sage has suggested that more than 30% of small business owners did not take a summer holiday last year, putting them at risk of stress and burnout. In fact, not taking a holiday is likely to make you less productive overall and increase other health risks, such as high blood pressure. We provide accounting services to hundreds of small businesses and we have noticed that the more successful businesses tend to be the ones where the owner has control over their business rather then where the business controls them. it is important to have the time to be able to focus on your business rather than spending all of your time in your business. For those that do take a summer break, many still take their phones, tablets and even laptops to enable them to keep an eye on emails and as a result are extremely unlikely to come back from their holiday refreshed. The summer holidays offer the ideal opportunity to step back from your small business and recharge your batteries. Once you come back, you will be able to see the big picture and will be in the perfect position to review your progress for the year so far. If the thought of abandoning your business, even for a few days, brings you out in a cold sweat, there are a number of ways ensure things tick along while you are away: Hire a virtual PA to answer all of your business calls, ensuring they know when you will return, are aware of any work in progress and are able to filter any true emergencies that need your urgent attention. Ask a trusted friend or family member to be on call and monitor emails and deal with any emergencies on your behalf. You may also consider engaging an alternate, who would be someone who is in the same industry but not in direct competition to you (for example someone who offers the same service but in a different area to you). Engage an interim manager or temporary staff ahead of your break to ensure that they are fully inducted to your business to keep track of staff or manage your business premises while you are away. Close up shop completely! As long as all of your customers are fully aware in advance that you are taking a break, there are no urgent jobs outstanding and customers know when you will be back, this could be a great solution. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you get a break and come back refreshed and ready to drive your business forward.