Is it OK to go on holiday when you’re starting up a business?

Is it OK to go on holiday when you’re starting up a business? The traditional answer to that question was previously a resounding no, but various factors, including the nature of modern business and advances in communications technology, are changing this.

The debate

The ‘no’ camp will tell you that going on holiday in the first year of starting a business is impossible.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirecek/4757603534/

Leaving aside the questions about whether you’ve got enough money to cover potential losses of earnings, otherwise known as holiday pay, can the business stand to be without you? In part, of course, this depends on the nature of the business. But even then there are arguments either way.

Some people would say that if you are the only person in the business then you can safely go on holiday because there is no one to mess things up in your absence; others might say that if you are the only person in your business then you absolutely definitely must be there at all times as you can’t possibly delegate, and possibly squander, your precious business reputation by being unavailable for work so early on.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/renaissancechambara/4604071067/

In the ‘yes’ camp are those people who say it’s OK to go on holiday in your first year of starting a business, although they may have different reasoning.

It is increasingly recognised that having a healthy work/life balance is an important part of maintaining the energy and motivation required to run your own business, so there will be those people in the ‘yes’ camp who say ‘yes’ for health reasons.

There will be others who say yes because they have found technological solutions such as VoIP to the conundrum of business start-ups and holidays.

The solution

The question is really about how you ensure you maintain effective communication with your clients and customers during your absence. There are all sorts of ways you may be able to do this, although not all of them will be appropriate to your particular business.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/danmoyle/6601589893

Telling your clients well in advance about your holiday dates, maybe even announcing them at the start of the year, can help you and your clients plan and therefore minimise any disruption or disappointment. This may work if you have a small number of private clients or customers, and you work from home and it’s simple and cost-effective.

Also simple and cost-effective is a service such as that offered on the Vonage site to ensure you can keep in touch by phone as well as email while you are away. With the minimum kit this is possible from most destinations. It’s going to be quicker than a postcard home, so while you may not wish your client were here, your client will be none the wiser.

Resource box

 Work life balance

Five top tips on having a healthy work/life balance

Saying ‘yes’

Take advantage of every situation by saying yes

Voice over Internet Protocol ‘VoIP’

How VoIP actually works

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