As many people look to forward to the Summer months, taking holidays can come with their own set of stresses and challenges for the self-employed and business owners.
Certainly for the self employed holidays are not paid and sometimes the challenge is doubled by not having colleagues to hand over work to even though customers could call at any time.
Also, for some trades the is Summer a fairly busy time which explains a survey conducted by Sage which found that more than 30 percent of entrepreneurs don’t take Summer holidays.
However, not taking time off as a business owner does not serve well in the long run as holidays are proven to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve sleep. All factors which lead to better productivity.
A key point for the self employed and for many business owners is ensuring that cash flows remain positive during any holiday period. Ensuring debt collection and bill paying processes continue is paramount. Further, for business owners with staff; adequate communication and instruction for efficient cover is also critical
Certainly for larger businesses managing while staff are on holiday requires some specific processes. Clive Lewis who is head of enterprise at ICAEW gives some tips for such businesses:
– Make sure invoices are still paid on time otherwise you could damage your credit rating and limit your access to supplies on credit.
– If the person authorising payment is away make sure that someone else can authorise it in their absence. The same applies with cheque signatories.
– Make sure that staff complete a proper handover and in enough time. Staff involved in raising sales invoices and chasing customers for payment must properly brief the staff standing in for them; especially on commitments made by customers regarding payment.
– They must also be aware of how to follow up customer queries regarding sales invoices so that disputes are resolved quickly.
– Make sure that suppliers or customers are aware of any alternatives to their regular contacts to ensure a smooth handover and make sure that stand-in staff can access a list of contact details for suppliers and customers.
– Systems for recording / forecasting cash flow need to be maintained in the owner or director’s absence.
– Debrief people when they get back – this will enable them to get back “up to speed” more quickly after their holiday.
Cash is king and businesses must ensure that cash continues to come in as well as making sure proper safeguards are in place while staff are away.
If you are self employed or a business owner, a good accountant who knows you and your business will be able to support your holiday plans and your business by providing advice on revenue forecasts and the processes and procedures to put in place to protect your business whilst you are on holiday.
Putting mechanisms in place to ensure your customers are not left high and dry if your business does not currently have automatic cover will also be necessary.
Here at Keen Dicey Grover we understand how important it is that you feel that your business is supported to ensure you can enjoy a well deserved break.
With the information and guidance we provide we aim to ensure you feel confident and informed about your business. By working to help to eliminate the unknown we put you in the best possible position to make the right decisions about your holiday plans to enable you to relax while you are away.
Keen Dicey Grover
We care… we really care