Taking a Holiday as a Sole Trader
Being a sole trader can be fantastic. You can make money for yourself, working flexibly and taking time off when you need to. You can use your skills, talents and previous experience to build up a business from nothing, and you never have to worry about sharing the profits, or paying anyone else when times are tough. It’s often the ideal choice for parents with young children and people that can’t find a more traditional job that suits their needs.
Unfortunately, however, like any other way of working, it has its negatives. As a sole trader, you don’t get holiday or sick pay. You only earn money when you are working, and sometimes not even then. Nor do you have anyone to pick up your work on your days off. For these reasons, most sole traders don’t take holidays, and some don’t even have days off.
This often leads to stress, burnout, and fatigue. Many sole traders find that working too much affects their health and relationships and that over time they start to wonder if it’s right for them after all.
If you want to work as a sole trader long term, you need to take holidays, and with summer coming there’s no better time for your first. Here’s a look at some of the ways that you can go on holiday, without losing business.
A lack of holiday pay can be tough. But, it doesn’t have to be if you are well-prepared. Open a separate bank account for your business and pay yourself a weekly amount out of it. Set this up to be less than you actually make, so that you’ve always got a bit of a buffer when you need it. Then continue to pay yourself normally while you are away.
Even if you usually do all of your work yourself, outsourcing can be a fantastic idea when you are away. contact center automation can help you to automate reporting and analytics, to make life easier day-to-day and offer you comprehensive information, ready for you when you get home.
You could also outsource to a virtual assistant who can update your website and social media, reply to emails and generally keep the online aspect of your business going while you are away.
Reporting isn’t the only thing that you can automate. You can schedule things like social media updates, website changes, blog posts and emails in advance. Spend a day before you travel scheduling everything for while you are away.
If your business deals with creating products, you might be able to produce more before you leave. But, you won’t be there to deal with shipping and packing of orders if you want to keep taking them. You might want to hire some casual help to keep things going.
Take a Break
Of course, there is another option. You can just shut up shop and take a break. Sure, business will slow for a while, but as long as you are willing to work hard before and after, it shouldn’t cause lasting damage. If you can afford not to earn for a week or two, do it.