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Can I take a break without losing my customers?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 | By Franz Madlener

I’m a small business owner working for myself, but I need a holiday. What can I do to have a break but still have my customers when I get back?


In the words of Martin Sheen’s character, Carl Fox, in the movie Wall Street, “Money's only something you need in case you don't die tomorrow.”


Now I’m guessing you have no idea why I am quoting an obscure throw-away line from the original Wall Street movie, but here’s my point: Small business owners need to take time away for a holiday.


A holiday from their business. A holiday from their customers. A holiday from dealing with the daily serve of problems and people that can wear you down well before lunchtime.


Every entrepreneur will tell you that before the holiday they couldn’t afford the time and didn’t know why they were going; and after the holiday they will tell you they couldn’t believe they left it so long to go on holidays, and come back recharged and ready to take on the world. Every successful business person that I know takes holidays. That’s part of what makes them successful.


Think of it this way: You will benefit, your staff will benefit, and most of all, your customers will benefit. Everyone benefits from you taking a holiday. Even you!


Your customers get a ‘nicer, happier’ version of you. Your staff get a boss with a longer fuse, and your ability to create new ideas goes up also. It’s a win/win situation!


Seriously though, the biggest problem is this: Too many business owners fudge the truth and don’t tell customers they are taking a well-deserved break.


Instead, business owners should proudly (no matter how much money they owe) tell anyone who will listen, “I am off to Barnbougle to play golf for five days and drink 10 bottles of Goaty Hill Pinot Gris – and boy do I deserve it! See you in a week.”


Customers – your customers – love success as much as the next person. Successful people take holidays.


Tell your customers that you are taking a holiday and they will think you are successful. If they think you are successful they will want to deal with you even more. The more they do business with you, the more money you will have, the more holidays you can take, the more successful they will think you are!


So there you go. Have a holiday and be successful.


And in the words of another Wall Street character, Lou Mannheim: “Kid, you’re on a roll. Enjoy it while it lasts, ‘cause it never does.”


Now, I sure could use a piña colada...