Many of you will be starting the summer holidays with kids or entering your busiest time of the year. Maybe neither of those things are true but the summer is here and you may be just planning a break some time soon.
Taking a break sounds like the easiest thing to do. However we all know that as a small business owner, it is not so easy. We are all working hard to pay the bills, make our name, build a brand, grow an audience, save for our future and stopping, even for a minute, seems impossible.
But take a break we must. Allowing the quiet moments and the day dreaming to happen could be the key to your new future. It is essential that we rest our bodies and brains too. We are working so hard and if we don’t look after ourselves, then how can we look after our customers?
There is another thing too. Most of the small business owners I talk to week in, week out, chose to be one because they wanted to achieve something magical, make a change, find more balance. Why then, wouldn’t you kick back and take that in every so often?
So here are a few ideas for you to ponder that might just help you to take a break or perhaps a better one. Whether you are planning an actual holiday or simply a couple of days off in the garden – planning one is key.
- Plan a break! If you don’t red circle some time in the diary, it will never happen. It is vital to ring fence a day so that you can plan for it, work round it and get any help you need. This is the first step but it is often the biggest one.
- Work out what you need to do in order not to upset, annoy or even lose customers. Some of you will need to get someone to open the shop while some of you will simply need to schedule some social media. Double check your digital systems to make sure that anyone making an enquiry isn’t left waiting or confused.
- Announce that you are taking a break. Telling your customers that you are taking a break is ok. You are a small business and your audience love you for it. They will understand that you need a break. If you are able to share why you are taking a break is even better – if it is to rest to deliver a better Autumn for them – then say so!
- Use your time wisely. This sounds bossy right? Well no, but using the time to really achieve what you want is key. If you need to have new ideas or refresh your marketing, then line up a new notebook to right down the inspiration when it comes. If you need to rest because you are exhausted then plan to digitally switch off completely. Avoid falling into he trap that a few days off without a plan will work.
- Fill your time off with inspiration. If you want to fill up your head with love, ideas and positivity to replace negative thoughts, stress or worry then here are a few ideas:
- Read and read some more. I love ‘How to Fail’ by Elizabeth Day or ‘Do Purpose’ by David Hieatt.
- Listen to podcasts. I love ‘Fortunately’ for fun and giggles. I also like ‘How to Fail’, ‘Happy Place’ and James Victore’s ‘Dangerous Ideas’.
- Take a notebook everywhere (or notes on your phone) and take time to note everything that pops into your head – what ever the silliness is – write it down.
- Breath. Yes – breath! Take a little time to stop and breath into your belly – every day. This allows your brain to still and the ideas to come in. This is vital for business owners. If we chase 24 7 then we will lose. Stop, breath, quieten and listen to the ideas that are hovering around us.
In that vein, we are taking a break too. We are going to revisit some of our favourite How To Guides in the coming weeks while I listen, quieten and enjoy my teacher husband and kids for a few weeks. The new How to Guides start back in August!