With the summer holiday season now finally here, many of us are looking forward to taking a break from running a business and benefitting from some well-earned rest and recuperation (even if we do end up keeping an eye on emails). But once you’ve seen the sights, paddled the pool and bronzed on the beach, a holiday is actually quite a good time for some introspection and ‘blue-sky thinking’ – literally!

So perhaps while you’re relaxing on your sunbed listening to the waves lapping the shore, it would be a good time to consider how you’re going to hit the ground running business-wise in September. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Think about how well you know yourself as a business owner. Which day-to-day activities energise and absorb you to the point where you don’t even notice time passing? This is called being in flow and is an extremely productive state. On the flip side, there will be activities that drain and demotivate you. It’s important to identify these energy-zappers because they can distract you from your main focus, undermine your effectiveness and, ultimately, sabotage your success.
  • Do you know where your business is at financially? You need to be on top of your numbers at all times and it might be that an online accounting package could make that easier. How are you doing with sales and marketing?  Do you have work in the pipeline and is that being nurtured through?  What about competitors and other market challenges – do you have a proper handle on these?
  • Do you know what’s preventing your business from moving forward? Walk yourself mentally through the customer experience and consider which systems and processes could make life easier for you and the customer experience smoother. Could you free up your own expensive time by delegating more?
  • Do you have a plan for growing your business? Maybe you need a new team member? It’s vital to get the right person with the right skills and traits to complement what you have already. So do consider your strengths and those of your team carefully before hiring.

Hopefully this will give some food for thought.  But fast-forward a week or so. On your first day back at work you’ll want to think about how to ready yourself and your business for the season ahead:

  • Make a detailed to-do list. All these great thoughts that occurred to you on holiday need to be turned into viable action points.
  • Involve your team – they will probably have their own ideas which could be valuable. In any case, you’ll need to keep them in the loop to help with engagement and understanding and, of course, your employees are your best ambassadors for your business.
  • If you’ve enjoyed stepping off the hamster wheel and doing some big-picture thinking on the beach, then why not schedule another session for six months’ time (on the ski slopes perhaps!) to review progress against your to do list and set some more priorities?

You never know, this time next year that recliner could be somewhere even more exotic!