What happens to your business when you go on holiday?

Sorry We're Closed on a Metal Sign in Shop Window


Planning a holiday when you own a business is not always a straight forward affair. If you are a sole trader, then shutting up shop for 2 weeks means no income and potentially a loss of business as people can’t get hold of you and find an alternative supplier. For those with employees to hold the fort the stress of annual leave is no less reduced. This leads to many business owners choosing not to leave their company for any length of time and risk burning out. So, what happens to your business when you go on vacation?

Will you lose business?

This is often the biggest concern for entrepreneurs and possibly why you are overthinking booking that much needed holiday. Try to think about it logically.

If someone is choosing to do business with you, there is usually a good reason for it. After all, it’s a competitive world, so chances are they have a number of options to decide between. They believe in you, so have some faith in yourself also. If you are good at what you do people will wait.

Of course, there are further things you can do to mitigate this risk, which we will also explore.



Do you have a team that works with you? Delegate your duties to them while you enjoy some rest and relaxation. While they may not have the same specialist skills you have, they can probably hold the fort and keep customers happy until you return. Your clients will feel reassured they have a team to speak to until you are available again.



Why not outsource to a call answering service or a Virtual Assistant? These are professionals who are used to dealing with clients daily and can provide continuity of service for your business during your vacation. Together you create a process on how things will be handled while you are away using their experience and expertise, giving you peace of mind that you will have a business to come home to.


Utilise technology

Just can’t bear the thought of being out of touch for any length of time? Use the technology available to keep an eye on things back at the ranch. From smartphones to laptops, there are multiple ways to work remotely and keep your finger on the pulse.

Technology gives you the option to either get in touch if something unexpected happens or build small amounts of time into your holiday to continue working. While this may not be the ideal solution if your family were hoping you would leave work behind, it will give you some comfort and allow you to focus on fun rather than worrying about the business.


Put your out of office on

Business owners seem to worry endlessly about whether to put their out of office on and whether it will leave their customers unhappy. However, used appropriately the out of office function is a great tool to keep your clients informed and help you to get away.

If your business closes for Christmas and New Year, then using your out of office to let people who enquire know you will be unavailable for a few days is an appropriate thing to do. People expect some businesses to close over this period and getting confirmation that you aren’t there at the moment and when they can expect a reply means they won’t think you just ignored their email or call.

In a similar vein, the majority of your potential customers also expect you to be human and go on holiday. As long as you’re not skipping off every 5 minutes, then having an annual holiday where you close the business for 1 or 2 weeks will not have your customers leaving in droves. Used in the right way an out of office message can keep your customers informed about what is happening and when they can expect a response.


Don’t burn out

By refusing to spend time away from your business or taking proper breaks, you run the risk of burn out. This could potentially leave you running your company at less than your full capacity and actually losing money as you become more inefficient due to stress and mental overwhelm.

Achieving a work-life balance allows you to return to your business rejuvenated and full of enthusiasm. Potentially meaning a break could actually improve your company’s performance rather than harm it.


Not as scary as it seems

The idea of taking a break is often scarier than the reality. Many of the things a business owner fears will happen, never actually materialise. Consider starting small, perhaps go away for a weekend. Leave on a Friday afternoon and be back at your desk on Monday morning. While you may not have spent many hours away from your working week, it will get you used to switching off and enjoying life outside of work.

Once you have been on vacation once and realised your business was fine during that time, it will make next year’s holiday seem a lot less daunting.


Further information

If you found this information useful you may also want to check out the following:

Building a succession plan for success

Time management tips


MRA help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. MRA specialise in corporate solutions, cash-flow analysis, taxation, debt management, savings and investments, lifestyle planning and much more.

Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.