As a small business owner, it can be hard to justify being away from your desk for a day, let alone find the time for a proper trip. So, we were wondering if it is actually possible to go on holiday and still keep your business running.
Here are ten suggestions that we’ve come up with to help you take a well-earned break.
1. Explore Europe in the evening
With budget airlines offering an increasing number of flights to European destinations, it’s possible to get to a new city cheaply and quickly. If you book a hotel in a central location, you can work from there during the day and then head out around 5pm to explore. Make sure you take a lunch break and you’ll get to see even more!
2. Exploit the time difference
If you fancy heading further afield, take a look at the time difference before choosing a destination. San Francisco (-8 hours) and Bali (+8 hours) were suggested by the Bizcrowd team as the time difference allows you to enjoy the day and still be in contact with the UK in the early mornings or evenings.
3. Make the most of ‘business’
Head of Bizcrowd, Ewan, recommends making the most of the perks available to business travellers. When booking, look out for companies that have business lounges you can use - Eurostar Business Premier is a good example. British Airways offer a loyalty programme for small business owners to help you make the most of your budget.
4. Hotel hop
When you’re exploring a new city, there are always loads of business hotels around that you can use to check your emails and make calls. Ensure that you’re smartly dressed and you’ll be able to pop in, have a coffee and make the most of their free Wi-fi and comfy surroundings before hitting the streets again.
5. Make an exhibition of yourself
Another great way to mix business with pleasure is to visit a trade show or exhibition abroad. Tack on a day or two at the beginning or end of your trip and you’ll be able to see some of the sights, as well as attend the show. If you’d like to exhibit at a trade show abroad, the UK Trade and Investment website has some useful information, including details of grants and funding available to UK businesses.
6. Serviced office solutions
If you fancy a longer break, a short-term, serviced office could be a good option. Websites such as eubusiness.com and searchofficespace.com offer a search service so you can find the right space for you in your chosen destination.
7. Rethink roaming
The expense of making calls and accessing your emails abroad can be off-putting to business owners on a budget. Before you travel, give your phone provider a call and see if you can add a roaming package to your existing deal. Other options include pre-paid Sim cards that give you a data allowance to use, or portable Wi-Fi hotspots. For more information, Pcadvisor.co.uk has some useful advice.
8. Stay local
Going on holiday doesn’t have to mean travelling abroad. Wherever you live in the UK, there will be interesting destinations near by, just waiting to be explored. If you’re going somewhere a bit more remote, check ahead that your hotel has Wi-Fi and call your mobile provider for advice on connectivity.
9. Visit your suppliers
If your business works with suppliers around the country, then why not plan a break around a trip to see them? Meeting people you work with face to face is always a good idea as it will help forge strong working relationships. Plus, they should be able to give you a great tour of their town!
10. Get a PA
If you’d like to switch off from work for a day or two, a telephone answering service such as moneypenny, is a great idea. They offer a dedicated PA to answer your calls, as if she’s in your office. The caller can then be transferred to you, or a message sent as a text or email so you can call them back at a convenient time.
What do you think? Is it possible to take a break and still keep your small business running?
By Lauren Baldwin, Editor at Bizcrowd