Some people who run their own businesses are not keen to take a holiday but for me I see a break from the norm as being essential both in terms of recharging batteries and taking a step back from the fast pace of the normal working week.
I've recently spent a long weekend in Lanzarote - the best reason to go there is for the sun and warmth and to relax around a pool, saunter among the shopping 'strips', enjoy a cold beer and then back to the hotel and pool for more rest and relaxation. Not everyone's ideal way of spending holiday time, although I'm just as happy being on the Amalfi Coast or in Cannes - both of which draw me back every year and places I never tire of.
So how do I manage the business and the needs and demands of clients, whilst I go swanning off somewhere? Firstly I ensure I give them plenty of notice. I plan the work with them so that I'm up to date when I go, and ready to pick up again when I come back. I email and contact all my clients that I'm currently working with to give them advance notice of dates of expected return to the office. I ensure I leave a voice mail message on my landline in the office saying when I plan to return to the office, but I don't leave Out of Office messages on my emails. I know that in reality, even though I'm on holiday, I will always look at my emails simply because I have work and personal emails all on the same phone. So, if I see what looks like a potential new client, or a client that I haven't seen for sometime who suddenly wants something done, I can then send a quick response saying when I'm next available. Some people don't understand this - they say that whilst I'm away and not able to respond then that client might look elsewhere at my competitors. That is a risk of course, but I balance that by saying that all work and no play makes Jill (or Jack) a very dull girl (or boy).
Planning work is key to ensuring that, when the holidays beckon, or a weekend away, or just a day with the family chilling out, the business and the clients don't get a raw deal. So far, it's worked. I think so long as we are honest and realistic about work management and time scales, most people are happy. Happy Days!