When is the last time as a small business owner you found time to go on a holiday?

I mean a real holiday, where you can actually turn off your phone and avoid customers and staff like the plague.

You know what?

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to bugger off into a holiday wilderness.

It not only allows you to recharge your batteries, but also helps you to have a fresh look at where your business is headed.  Many great business ideas, good ideas, have actually sprouted from an afternoon beach walk or during a mountain trek.

Here are our top 7 tips for taking a carefree break from your business:

  1. Get A Business Babysitter

    Ever wished you could just have someone look after your business while you went away to make sure you didn’t miss out on anything important?

    A business babysitter or virtual assistant can do just that.

    Studies have shown that up to 75% people don’t leave a message on an answering machine and an ‘out of office’ email is a sure fire way to have your potential customers going elsewhere. So, even as you relax with that overdue massage, a good ‘digital’ babysitter can answer your phones, book in appointments, take orders and even prepare a to-do list for you on your first day back.

  2. Make Your ‘Out of Office’ An Automated Marketing Tool

    Be creative and make sure your potential clients don’t leave empty handed.

    Share some of your best blog posts, videos or free resources in your vacation auto responders.

  3. Use A Scheduling Tool On Your Website

    Use a calendar scheduling tool or job management form that helps your clients and customers book appointments directly into your diary so your appointment book is full first day back.

    These booking tools can be easily embedded into your website or simply place the booking link in your ‘out of office’ auto responder.

  4. No Surprises:

    Make sure you don’t surprise your customers. Notify them ahead of time that you are going away, especially if they need work done ahead of time.

    Place a reminder in your email signature.

    Giving your top clients a quick reminder call can also a good idea.

  5. Set Up Direct Debits

    Stop the bills piling up and causing a case of post holiday depression. Look at paying them ahead of time or set up direct debits for payments on the due date for better cashflow management.

  6. Be Social

    Keep up your social engagement and schedule your social media posts by using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer. Use Instagram to post your holiday shenanigans in real time and make your staff jealous.

  7. Digital Detox

    Finally, have a digital detox. Even though cloud computing has given us the ability to work from anywhere, this convenience can prove to be an annoyance at times when you are vacationing. T

    he temptation is ever present to just ‘check in’ so make sure you check out by turning off the phone, changing your voicemail message and only using your tablet device for reading those ebooks you bought 6 months ago.

So no more excuses – it is time to call your travel agent, pack your bags and get ready to enjoy lots of little umbrellas in your drinks.

Oh, and the subsequent afternoon naps.