As a small business owner can you take time off over the Christmas break?

It’s summer! The sun is out, it’s heating up, and we are all thinking about enjoying those long summer days at the beach and relaxing with friends and family.  Christmas and new years parties, school holidays, it has us all longing to take a break and just relax for a while. Is that actually the case though for small business owners?

Some of the great advantages to running your own business is to be able, in an ideal world of course, to work when you need to. But depending on the size of your business, it is more likely than not, that being able to take a break over the summer months (or anytime for that matter) is often much more difficult.

When your business is dependent on you being there, and your business is your primary income source, it is hard to reconcile the head vs heart debate and take time off.   Are SME’s resigned to looking longingly out of the window dreaming of going for a swim, paying silent thanks to daylight savings (sorry Queensland)?

Well, maybe not! A study by cloud accounting leader, Xero, found that small business owners who are also parents are actually looking to take three weeks break over the summer holiday period. This type of flexibility gives these small business owners the ability to spend quality time with their family and friends, not to mention take a well needed break for themselves.

Trent Innes, Managing Director, Xero Australia, said, “Many people assume those who run a small business work around the clock and therefore don’t get to enjoy as much holiday time. Our research shows that isn’t the case. In fact, the vast majority of parents who run their own business (94%) say they spend more quality time with their children now than they did in their previous jobs.”

Great news for the working parents and small business owners that are out there. Another interesting finding that Australia’s working parents generally took two weeks off over the summer period, but those that ran their own business took three!

The ability to find a work/life balance is something that everyone is striving for. Some can achieve it easier than others. One of the big advantages when operating your own business is to be able to get a little closer to this elusive mix. The ability to structure not only your day, but your working life to achieve that much desired medium between personal and professional commitments, is one of the great drawcards for SME’s when starting a business.

Perhaps this is why that according to a Xero Small Spark survey that two in five (41 per cent) of Australian small business owners started their business in pursuit of greater freedom and a better lifestyle. As we all know, as fulfilling as it is to own and run your own business, it is also a lot of hard work! Being able to reward yourself with summer holidays and to spend time with family and friends is a major bonus. Especially for the times when you are stuck in the office late and night and missing events and story time!

If you are lucky enough to be able to have an extended break over summer, all power to you! Enjoy, relax and have fun and come back refreshed to take on the challenges of the new year. You will be better for it!                       

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