3 reasons not to join the 75% of small business owners working over the August bank holiday

Most small business owners will be working over the August bank holiday, but is that really the best idea?

Time and time again, research has shown that small business owners don’t take nearly as much holiday as their employed counterparts. While the majority of employed people will be taking a day off on 27 August, 75 per cent of the self-employed will be working.

More than a quarter of small business owners take less than 5 days leave a year

Not only are small business owners skimping on bank holiday time, new research from Hitachi has suggested they’re hardly taking any time off all year round.

Over 25 per cent of small business owners take fewer than five days leave each year, with 15 per cent taking none at all.

This comes after earlier research from business loan provider LDF found that 75 per cent of small business owners don’t take time off on bank holidays.

Why so many don’t take time off

For many small business owners, time off feels like an impossibility. This time last year, Yell Business estimated that small businesses who opted to close each bank holiday were losing out on £2250 a year.

Even so, Mark Clisby, product and marketing director at Yell, said at the time: “While no small business owner will want to lose out on potential revenue, the benefits of ‘time off’ cannot be underestimated – working constantly and not switching off can harm productivity.”

On top of that, we’ve gathered the three main reasons why you should consider shutting up shop this bank holiday August - and what to do instead if that’s not an option.

3 reasons not to work this bank holiday

Spending too much time on your business can ultimately harm both it and you. While dedication is important and long hours are necessary at times, it’s also important to take time for yourself. Here’s why:

1. Avoid stress and burnout

Stress and burnout are both symptoms of overwork. While a little bit of stress is natural when you run your own business, running yourself into the ground while you’re at it will do you no good in the long run.

Not only is it an unpleasant way to live, if you burnout and are unable to keep going, your business will suffer. The bank holiday is the perfect opportunity to take that little bit more time to regroup.

2. Take care of your physical health

Not only is a lack of time off likely to mess with your mind, it can also have an impact on your body as well.

Research has found that people who work more hours each week are 33 per cent more likely to have a stroke, and are also at increased risk of coronary heart disease. Even stress by itself can lead to musculoskeletal problems, without other health complications added into the mix.

3. Take time for yourself

While your business can often feel like your life, there’s also, well, your life. Whether it’s friends, family, hobbies or activities, your relationships and leisure time can suffer while you focus on work.

Given that most of the other people in your life will also have the bank holiday off, it’s a great time to enjoy their company more than you normally can - or simply to take some time for yourself.

How small business owners can take time off

If loss of profits is your main concern, adjusting your pricing to take into account time off is worth considering.

Depending on the type of business you run, letting your customers know well in advance when you’ll be closed - both on your premises and via your website or social media - will help them plan ahead and visit you on a different day.

And if closing on a bank holiday really isn’t a possibility, look at taking time off another day to make up for the shortfall in downtime.

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