No summer holiday for business owners?

We all know it is a juggle to fit in looking after the kids over the summer at the same time as keeping your business going. I’ve just had two weeks ‘off’ but still checked the emails every day, and even fitted in an urgently needed press release over the weekend. A new survey from Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank shows that entrepreneurs are taking less time off than they did three years ago, and for those who do manage to get away, it is hard to switch off.You might be one of the 10% of entrepreneurs who have sacrificed their holidays completely for their business, no longer taking any annual leave at all. Or perhaps if you have managed to book a break, you will be one of the 72% of those surveyed who keep in touch using mobile phones, lap tops and BlackBerry devices. Two thirds (64%) spend precious holiday time agonising about their business and almost a third (31%) admit their worrying negatively affects their break.

Preparing to take time off is also a concern for SMEs with over a fifth (22%) of small business owners polled claiming it is difficult to find appropriate cover and nearly half (45%) saying it is expensive. Adding to the financial burden, a new EU agreement now means business owners must give equal treatment to temporary and permanent staff, incorporating pay, holidays and other working conditions after only 12 weeks in a job.

Alliance and Leicester Commercial Bank recommend internet banking to help you stay in touch with your finances. From my experience, I’d suggest a few tips:

  • Do take a break – everyone needs a holiday.
  • If your budget is tight, give yourself a holiday at home by switching off the pc for a few days.
  • Book days out with the family: even a picnic in the park or a trip to the nearest beach for the day can refresh you.
  • Plan ahead. It is much easier to take a break if you can train up a mate to print and dispatch orders for a few days while you are away.

For the rest of the summer holidays, you will still need to juggle work and family. See if you can find a willing teenager to take the kids out while you concentrate on work for a few hours. Alternatively, make a bargan with the kids. Take them somewhere tiring in the morning, and let them chill out in the afternoon while you work. Other mums recommend letting everyone have a lie in and getting on with work then, while planning trips out for the afternoon. There are more ideas for juggling kids and work in Family Friendly Working.

Whatever you do, have a great holiday.

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~ by Antonia Chitty on July 29, 2008.

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