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How to grow your business when you're on holiday

As a business owner or MD, it can be tough taking a holiday, or at least to switch off fully when you're on holiday. There's always a deal to be done, a project to keep on track and issues to fix.

If that sounds like you, fully switching off when you're on holiday may sound like a pipe dream.



Switching off on holiday is a great way to test your business

The most valuable businesses are systemised so that they are not dependent on the business owner and senior management. That's not to say that those people aren't important in the running of the business. It's just that they aren't critical to the day-to-day running of the business.

When your business is at this level, it becomes significantly more valuable. It will be more valuable at the time you want to sell it. It will also be more valuable to you when you're actively working in it.

If your business can run itself, you can spend more of your time working on the business, rather than in it.

Switching off on the holiday for a defined period of time, is a great way to test how well your business runs without you.

If you're planning on going on holiday and switching off worries you, why not take it as an opportunity to fix those worries.

How to prepare for going on holiday

Identify everything that you need to deal with. Make a list. Prioritise the list, by how likely each item is to come up while you're away.

Who can deal with it in your place? What is stopping them from dealing with it now?

Identify the training and instructions they need and put these in place. Give them the responsibility to deal with it now, so that they are up to speed before you go away.

Screen recordings

A great tool that we use for internal training is screen recording. We use a Google Chrome plugin - Loom for screen recording. Record your screen and talk them through the steps. Give them a link and some written instructions too. If they get stuck they can watch the video and learn what they need.

Permission to spend

Another common area that comes up is permission to spend money. Give your team a budget to work within. If the spend is within budget they don't need to ask permission.

You can take it one step further and trust them to use their best judgement. A good rule, is that it should be something they'll be comfortable to explain if they need to.

How to deal with the unexpected

Can you build a framework to help with decision making in your absence?

This is where written company values come in useful. Give your team a framework for making decisions, using your company values as a reference point.

If they have a framework and use your values as a guide it should help them to make good decisions.

If it doesn't then treat it as a learning exercise for everyone. It'll show you where you need to improve the framework and training.

The more robust you can make decision making in your business, the more autonomous it will be. Making it significantly more valuable to you and your senior leadership.

Set clear expectations and let your team make mistakes

Before you go away, understand what your team are planning to achieve in regards to the growth of your business. You can then check in with them when you get back to understand how they got on and what challenges they had while you were away.

Be prepared to let them make mistakes. By making mistakes they'll learn and grow, in turn helping your business grow. If they're scared of making mistakes, it'll ultimately hold your business back.

Go away confident

If you've planned and prepared, go on holiday confident. Let your team know you're switching off. Also give them emergency contact details in case there is an emergency that only you can deal with.

Put your out of office on and direct people to the appropriate contact.

Enjoy some time out. You'll come back refreshed, with your batteries recharged ready to make a bigger difference.

Say thank you

Remember to thank your team for holding the fort and keeping your business growing without you. The trust you've had in them and gratitude for a job well done, will work wonders for team moral.

A few mistakes will inevitably be made. Treat them as learning experiences and build your team's trust to make mistakes and learn from them. It'll speed their learning and give them confidence to grow your business, without asking your permission.

Enjoy your holiday...

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