Managing a business while on holiday

Research suggests that many entrepreneurs find taking a holiday challenging, as managing a business while on holiday can be difficult. With the UK’s early heatwave making many consider taking time off to enjoy the weather; it raises the question of how entrepreneurs flying solo or managing small teams can get a well-earned break without relinquishing control over their business.

While many entrepreneurs and business owners decide to forgo holidays in favour of building their companies, there are plenty of reasons it’s wise to take a break. Here, our team of business experts offer their advice for managing a business while on holiday without taking your eye off the ball:


  • Prepare – It seem easier said than done, but ensuring you start preparing for your annual leave in sufficient time can help you to feel more comfortable about going away. Think about what you have scheduled in for that time in advance, and prepare and delegate as necessary. Managing a business while on holiday is easier if you let any important contacts know you will be away and your return date so that you know you won’t be missing anything important.


  • Learn how to delegate effectively – When you start a business, it’s tempting to want to keep control of many things. It’s good to get in to the practice of delegating if you have a team, as it will stand you in good stead for when work becomes unmanageable. Managing a business while on holiday is easier done if you’re not trying to run things alone. Think about the strengths of your team and what they like to do – people generally respond better to being given tasks if it’s something they enjoy or excel at. If you’re flying solo, consider making it clear when customers / suppliers can expect replies from you and see if someone you trust is able to handle any emergencies in your absence if necessary.


  • Make sure your handover is clear – It’s unfair and won’t go down well if you land work on staff without making sure everyone knows what they’re doing and how to do it. The key to managing a business while on holiday is to create a handover where tasks and priorities are clearly outlined. Make sure you’ve sent it round with sufficient time for people to ask questions if they don’t understand to minimise the risk of being contacted while you’re away.


  • Do research on your holiday destination – Most places have Wi-Fi, but be sure to check if you are going somewhere remote if you will be able to receive and make calls or emails. Be sure to let people know times you definitely won’t be contactable – EG when you are on the plane and who they should contact instead in case of an emergency.


  • Schedule and automate where possible – Scheduling and automating processes can help to keep things ticking over while you are away without the need for passing work over to someone else. There are plenty of services out there that can help to make life easier when managing a business while on holiday.


  • Set aside a specific time to check in with colleagues – and stick to it! It’s tempting to check emails by the poolside, but especially if you’re going away with family, time away from checking in at work is healthy. If you know you’ll want to check emails and calls set aside a specific time frame and stick to it. If things can wait until you return, only deal with what’s urgent.


  • Don’t forget to set your ‘out of office’ – This will stop you being chased by people for things so can help you to really get the break you deserve. It’s wise to add the date of your return so people know when to expect a reply, and a note explaining what to do if the matter in question is urgent.


  • Have a clear diary for when you return – Managing a business while on holiday becomes much less stressful if you know you have set aside time to catch up on your return. Don’t over fill your diary the week you are back and set aside time to catch up with your team as well as your emails.

To find out how the business experts at Business East Sussex could help you better manage or grow your start-up or SME, please contact us here or call us on 0844 415 2260

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