The Christmas/New Year period may be the holiday season for most Australians but not for the nation’s 2.3 million small businesses, including 16,000-plus mortgage brokers.
Research by leading online lender OnDeck shows that one in three (30%) small business owners have no plans to take time off this year. Among the 70% that do intend to take a break, a holiday is likely to be a ‘workation’, with 95% of business owners saying they check emails while away from their business.
Cameron Poolman, CEO of OnDeck Australia, said, “The Christmas and New Year period is the peak trading period of the calendar for many small businesses, so it is understandable that many owners are reluctant to take time off. But having some downtime over the festive season is essential to avoid burnout.
“This need to recharge also applies to brokers, who are themselves, small business owners. Taking a break gives brokers some distance from their business – and a chance to gain valuable perspectives on where the business is heading and opportunities for growth.”
OnDeck’s research found that holidays can be a rare luxury for small business owners. Only one in two (50%) have taken a holiday in the last six months. One in four (26%) have not had a break from their business in the past four years. Six percent of business owners – potentially 1,000 brokers, say they have never taken time off from their business.
Small business owners report three key barriers to taking a holiday:
- 55% say the business is too dependent on them
- 50% cannot afford a break
- 32% say they do not have enough time
“Taking care of yourself is taking care of the business. Broking, in particular, is a very people-centric profession, and when brokers become overly fatigued, their business can suffer. This makes it critical to embrace opportunities to take time out and recharge this festive season,” added Poolman.
Five ways for brokers to avoid burnout
1) Review your calendar
Find a time in your schedule that has the least amount of deliverables due, like meetings, etc. Carve out those dates and book the time you need to get away.
2) Prepare employees
If you employ a team, select an employee you trust to steer the ship in your absence. Make sure the person left in charge knows what decisions they are allowed to make and what needs to wait until you return.
3) Let clients know in advance
Let clients know that you’re taking a break and when you’ll be back. Make sure they know who to contact in your absence.
4) Schedule check-in times
Set an agreed time or day with your family when you will check-in with your business. Then devote the rest of your time to family and relaxation.
5) Discuss clients’ cashflow needs in advance
Touch base with clients before heading off to ensure their cashflow needs are adequate for the holiday season. With lenders such as OnDeck, commercial finance can be arranged in as little as one business day, giving clients a fast response and securing a rapid pre-vacation deal for your broking business.