It’s here. Summer. That elusive season that promises so much and insists every family has a Plan A, B and C for all activities and events over the coming weeks. It affects every business in some way whether it’s reduced or increased footfall, staffing issues or supply of services and products. Jonathan Winchester UK chief executive of customer experience consultancy Shopper Anonymous asks: Are you ready?
Other than the obvious preparation that you will have included in your strategy planning, how will this summer affect you personally?
Whether you’re a business owner, a manager or a key person in a business, how do you survive summer? Will your own summer holiday be an endless juggle of family commitments and emails; full of those knife-edge decisions of knowing just when to peel your eyes away from your phone and answer the 56th cry of “look at my dive Daddy” with genuine interest?
Are you able to switch off completely or is your mind constantly buzzing with “what if?” “I’d better check,” “has that proposal gone?” “the project deadline is today”?
Long ago, I read about the value of working on your business and not just in your business.
As the leader of your business, you are responsible for spotting problems and delegating solutions. You are responsible for setting goals and thinking about the future. There is only one person in your business who will be genuinely motivated to grow your company and that’s you. Or is it?
A successful business will manage competently without you for a period of time. If you have a team of reliable and professional staff around you they will not let you down. If your team are rewarded fairly and empowered to make decisions, they will appreciate the trust and responsibility you give them and rise to the occasion. If your business cannot survive without you, you should be concerned. Delegation is a skill. And if your business only comprises of you, the same principle applies. You must take time out and can do so by outsourcing your communications and properly managing your schedule. Delegate, communicate and recuperate!
So, assuming you’ll be taking a break this summer, what are the major benefits of being able to walk away?
First, and most important: you
You need time out. There is nothing like a change of scenery or routine to enable you to look at things from a different angle. Perspective is everything. Step away, take time out, reflect and review. These are some of the most valuable activities in your whole business year.
Your family needs you
Whether it’s children, partners or parents, being able to truly dedicate time to your family is critical. In our world of digital overload, instant access to people and information saturates our every waking moment. Leave your phone at home and allow your communication with your family to be genuine and uninterrupted.
Some business owners or managers are very successful in dividing their time up so they can include space for themselves in every day. Many successful entrepreneurs are also successful athletes or impassioned by fitness goals. This is no coincidence. Being able to drive yourself towards physical goals is paralleled in driving business goals. Those of us who take time out to exercise are forcing change physically; creating a physical release of stress and tension and focussing the mind on an immediate and tangible result. The body reacts by becoming more alert and capable of withstanding physical demands. The mind has a break enabling you to re-examine your other roles with clarity and a fresh perspective. Your stress levels, your attitudes and your overall health will be hugely improved after a holiday.
You may be pleasantly surprised to discover your business thrives without you! Or you may discover “holes” or issues that need addressing, thereby improving business efficiency overall. With the right team with you, the business should cruise through any absence of the manager or owner with little or no disruption. This makes for a strong and robust business.
What’s one of the most important factors in the future success of your business? You. Not necessarily your presence, but you. Take time out, walk away and recover. Then set about making the last half of 2016 even better than the first.