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Is it possible for business owners to genuinely relax on holiday?

September 12, 2012

Research carried out by Fasthosts has found that most of the country’s small business owners are too stressed to enjoy going on holiday – with many vacations ruined by business-related interruptions, or the knowledge that they may be losing money while sitting on the beach.

Owning a business vs. being an employee

The survey results do highlight one of the biggest differences between those who work for themselves and those who are ‘employees’ of someone else.

When you decide to set up in business on your own, not only are you solely in charge of finding new ways to make money, but you will also only be paid while you are running the business. Unlike traditional employees, you will have to plan how you can enjoy a healthy work / life balance, and how to maximise your chances of winding down when you do manage to get away.

According to the web hosting provider, the average business owner estimates that they lose around £3,500 in personal income each summer holiday, 42% feel too stressed to enjoy their time away, and over two-thirds of the 750 business people surveyed said that a recent holiday has been negatively impact by work. Unsurprisingly, a sizeable number of respondents have argued with family members as a result of taking their work on holiday with them.

The biggest area of concern for business owners when they go on holiday include; business administration falling apart (26%), customer requests not being responded to (26%) – or forgotten (23%), and payments not being take (13%).

How technology can reduce holiday stress

Although all businesses operate in different ways, there are some common measures you can put in place to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer when you are on holiday.

In many cases, it is unrealistic to simply turn the business off for a week. Many business owners will have to be ‘in touch’, and the technology is there to support remote-working more than ever.

Some examples include; using ‘cloud-based’ applications to keep your systems synchronised – Google Apps (including calendars and mail) are the most well-known examples. If you run a website, you can use a modern Content Management System (CMS) to update your site from a tablet or mobile phone.  If you run an online shop, you should be able to have automated payments so that customers can make purchases at any time of day.