Why You Need To Take Regular Breaks If You Want A Thriving B&B
For many accommodation providers taking time off is easier said than done!
Having a break away from the business can be very difficult – there are no paid holidays, no colleagues to hand over the reigns to and guests who still need looking after!
It is no surprise then that a recent survey found that more than 30% of accommodation providers never take a holiday!
There are serious consequences to not taking a break
As I regularly share with my clients and students, there are huge downsides if you never take time off – I learnt from personal experience!
I have learnt that whilst you might think having a break from the business is too impractical or too expensive for you, the consequences of not taking time out can be far greater.
Research by Nuffield reports that taking a holiday will help reduce stress, can lower blood pressure and improve sleep which, in turn, leads to increased energy levels and better productivity.
And I can verify that. In my early days of being a B&B owner I never took break – in fact I didn’t have a break in the first two years! I felt I had to always be open in case someone wanted to make a booking.
But I learnt that the medical professionals are right! You need to take regular breaks away from work and recognise the benefits of rest and recuperation for both your physical and mental well-being.
I know that you may not be able to take time off over the summer – it’s probably your busiest and therefore most profitable time – but it is vitally important that you plan some time off in the diary.
How to make it happen
Before you come up with a million and one excuses of why you can’t take a break away from it all, I thought I’d share my top tips to making it happen. I’ve learnt that it’s all about minimising the impact on your business as much as possible!
If you can, take time off during the quieter times in your business as it makes life a lot easier. Depending on where you are located in the world, quiet times differ. Spend some time identifying the peaks and troughs in your business and see if you can fit in breaks around those.
Also, think about the times when your loyal guests are most likely to want to stay. Ideally, you need to be open at these times, after all they’re the ones who pay your bills!
If you can, arrange for someone to cover your calls while you’re away – there are some great call handling companies out there and they are very cost effective. The same goes for your emails. Knowing that potential new guests and existing guests are being looked after in the interim really does take the pressure off.
Having someone tell them that you’re on holiday and giving the opportunity to check availability, leave a message for you on your return is so much better than having customers think you’re just not answering their calls or ignoring their emails!
Keep it under control
And if you do need to keep in contact while you’re away, control the amount of time you spend “working”.
I’ll be perfectly honest here – when I take a break I never switch off from work completely. I always take my laptop with me. However, I keep things in control by allocating a half-hour slot per day to check emails and I’ve become very good at limiting any real involvement (unless it’s a crisis!). I personally find this helps me to keep my fingers on the pulse and allows me to enjoy my holiday to the full.
Until next time, remember …
The time spent planning and enjoying a holiday will not only be of benefit to you. You will reap the rewards for the future health of both yourself and your business.