According to a recent survey* undertaken in Australia, 57 per cent of small business owners and managers have not taken a holiday for more than a year, while 23 per cent haven’t taken a holiday in the last two years.
Some of the reasons Australian small business owners gave to struggling to take time off included feeling they needed to be available at all times and thinking they were too busy to take holidays. As a busy doctor, dentist or vet managing your own practice, arranging a holiday is probably not top of your agenda either. If you need an extra incentive to take the plunge and book that trip, BOQ Specialist’s Shehan Rajakumar highlights some reasons why a holiday could boost the health of your practice.
Absence will strengthen process
By planning to take time off and away from the practice, you will have to make sure that processes in the practice are up to date and documented. Often, this sort of additional administration can be left undone. There will also be the additional comfort that you have prepared reliable backup in place when you need it. If sickness strikes, or unexpected issues arise that call you away from the practice for a few days, you will be prepared and know that there are people who can hold the fort during unplanned emergencies.
By going on holiday, it also gives an opportunity for the rest of the team to learn to make decisions without you, through a reliable chain of command.
You are an investment too
Going on holiday is a form of investment. Just as you ensure that your practice equipment is properly serviced and repaired, you need to make sure that you, as one of your practice’s greatest assets – are in peak condition.
As a busy doctor, dentist or vet working long hours, it’s likely that your productivity in the long-term will ebb and flow through exhaustion and stress build up. A holiday could help you return to work revitalised and refocused. Spending time with friends and family is also a healthy way to help you rebalance a life that is often dominated by the demanding needs of your patients and your practice.
Set a good example for your team
As the person responsible for your practice, your staff look to you to determine the ongoing culture of the business. If you toil away, day after day, you may create a toxic culture where your staff feel unable to take time off. Some of the best practices ensure that employees have a fair work life balance. Set your team the right example by taking your annual leave.
Your time away can also allow both you and your practice to grow. It's during these periods that you see how well your practice is run. If you find it can't survive without you, it’s clear that you don't have a strong enough contingency or succession plan, and you will need to spend time empowering others, establishing better systems, and creating accountability.
There’s never a good time to go away
It’s important to understand that there is never a good time to leave your practice to go on holiday. This is an unavoidable truth of running a business. Book time off well in advance so that you, your staff and your patients know what’s coming. It’s also hard to see the big picture when you’re working long hours and focused on the day to day. Time off could help generate some important revelations about improvements to your practice that can be made in the future.
Looking for an extra incentive to book those flights? BOQ Specialist has recently launched the Everyday Plus account, the first everyday bank account in Australia that rewards account holders with Velocity Frequent Flyer Points^. With over 25 years experience working with medical, dental and veterinary professionals we understand your specific needs. Contact one of our financial specialists today.
BOQ Specialist - a division of Bank of Queensland Limited ABN 32 009 656 740 AFSL and Australian credit licence no. 244616 (“BOQ Specialist”).
The information contained in this article (Information) is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided. We recommend that you obtain independent financial and tax advice before making any decisions.
*Survey conducted by Xero in 2015
^ To earn and redeem Velocity Points you must be a Velocity member. Velocity membership and Points earn and redemption are subject to the Member Terms and Conditions, available at velocityfrequentflyer.com, as amended from time to time.
The Everyday Plus account is exclusively available for clients deemed by BOQ Specialist, in its sole discretion, to be engaged in the practice of medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences.