by | Dec 12, 2023 | Business | 0 comments

Tips to help you take a break without breaking your business

Updated: December 2023

Holidays for small business owners are tough. We know we need to take time off, but how can we switch off when we have a business to run?

This year, rather than reinventing the wheel, I’ve updated a blog I wrote at the end of last year.

This will be my fifth summer since I launched Angela Pickett Copywriter. Each year I get better at setting boundaries and making decisions that help my business and support me and my family.

When I wrote this blog in 2022, I put the call out in the fabulous Clever Copywriting Community. Several copywriters shared their tips to make holidays for small business owners enjoyable without affecting your business.

1. Communicate your holiday plans early

By now, you’ve hopefully decided when you’re taking a break and communicated these dates with your clients.

If you haven’t, this is your friendly reminder to do it now.

Set a really clear deadline of when you’ll be away, and when you’ll be back on deck.

This includes communicating your hours during December. Make sure you can enjoy those Christmas lunches, school concerts or shopping trips without worrying about looming deadlines.

2. Wrap up your projects

There is nothing worse than trying to take a break when you’ve got unfinished work hanging over you.

Try to wrap up your projects before the break. If you can’t, make sure you’ve got a clear plan and timeline with your clients. Ideally, you want to finish all your tasks and serve the ball back into your client’s court. Let them know when you’ll be back and ready to resume the project, and check when your client will be back at work. You don’t want to be sitting around in January waiting for replies.

But we all know December is notoriously busy with lots of events, and if you have kids, well, it’s even worse. For regular or retainer clients, make sure you’ve communicated not only your holiday dates, but the last dates you’ll be accepting work or revisions.

3. Update your Google Business and social profiles

It’s also important to communicate your holiday dates to potential clients. Update your holiday hours on your Google profile and social media accounts.

This can also be an excellent opportunity to book in projects to kick off the new year. Share this information to the top of your social accounts and add it to your website for easy reference.

Be sure to remind your clients to do the same for their clients and customers.

4. Make time to schedule an end-of-year review and set goals

While we often take time to review our business at the end of the financial year, the end of the calendar year is also a good time to review your progress. If you reviewed your business in June or July, now is a good time to check in on the goals you’ve set.

Copywriter and author Rashida Tayabali suggests taking time to look at whether you’re on track and whether there’s anything you want to change in the first half of 2024.

Use this time to schedule in local events, travel and conferences, school events, birthdays and holidays. This will help you see how much time you really have to work on and in your business.

But don’t just look at your schedule. You need to look at your finances too.

  • Have you factored taking time off into your budget?
  • Is there anything you can prepay or pause?
  • Can you lock in some projects for early in the new year, but take a prepayment?
  • Is there anything you’re paying for that you haven’t used in 2023?
  • Are there any trials you signed up for (maybe during those Black Friday sales) that you need to cancel?


5. Get ahead with your 2024 marketing

Before I switch off for holidays, I’m going to outline my marketing plans for the start of 2024.

After sharing a couple of blogs on sales pages this year, including one I wrote last month with my mastermind buddy Elise Doyle, I really want to focus on sales pages at the start of 2024.

Rather than simply focusing on churning out blogs and social posts, I’m going to be a bit more strategic. I’ll review my best performing blog posts and look at some updates.

I’m also thinking of running some free and paid workshops on sales pages (especially for service providers), so promoting them will be a key pillar in my marketing.

In 2023, I took a break from award entries and profile raising as I got clear on what I wanted to be known for. Thanks to a great session on awards from Erin Huckle last month, I’m ready to plan my 2024 awards plan.

And as I focus more on sales page copywriting, I’ll be looking for opportunities to speak on podcasts and present training.

6. Schedule social media for the break

I’ve left this one in, but honestly, I’m still not sure I’ll do it.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you might know that I’m less convinced about scheduling social media. Yes, consistency is important, but so is engaging with the post. So if you really want to take a break, is it really worth it? You might keep the algorithm happy (although in most cases, it expects you to have been engaging before your posts), but are your audience actually reading?

If you do decide to schedule some social media posts for while you’re away, you don’t need brand new content. Look at your most popular posts from this year, make sure they’re still relevant and reschedule them.

7. Plan an offer to launch early in the New Year

What’s your focus for the start of 2024? You don’t want to wait until you get back to work in January and then plan a new offer. Work out what your focus is going to be now and get everything ready to go.

That way your business can hit the ground running, even if your brain is still in holiday mode by the pool.

As I said, I’m focusing on some sales page copywriting offers. To be honest, when I had the idea in mid-November, part of me wanted to dive right in (#ShinyNewObject). But then I reminded myself that a. I had more than enough to do and b. most of my ideal clients probably wouldn’t be in the right headspace anyway.

8. Get your personal admin sorted

Quite a few copywriters pointed out the importance of blocking out time in the new year for personal appointments, like haircuts and regular health check-ups. Kristy from Kristy Wright Copywriter suggests stocking up on birthday cards and bulk staples to save time throughout the year.

9. Plan a CEO day

We all know how difficult it can be to switch straight from holiday mode to work mode, especially if you’ve had a decent break and properly switched off. Nerissa Bentley from The Melbourne Health Writer suggests planning a CEO day, complete with delicious snacks, a tasty lunch and drinks to finish the day.

Even if you take the time to review your business at the end of 2023, a CEO day is a fantastic way to get the creative juices flowing and build some excitement for the year ahead.

I’m thinking of planning a CEO wrap-up day just before I finish up for the year, and then a day in early February once the boys are back at school to do some planning for 2024.

10. Schedule your payments in advance

Last year, Jacinta Marshall from Purple Biz suggested scheduling all your payments in advance. That way, you won’t miss any payments and you won’t be caught out when you return. I still love this idea and I also loved Jacinta’s idea of writing to Santa asking for something for your business like a new laptop.

I’m still waiting for the new electric standing desk for my office that was on my list last year, but I’m also due for a new phone and I really think I deserve an island business retreat (hello, Emma Lovell) next year.

What are you asking for?

11. Turn on your out of office and delete work apps

I love this advice from Marketing Goodness’s Beck Cofrancesco. Set up an out of office message on your email and auto responder messengers (or chat bots) on your social media. Provide clear details when you’ll be back and links to information.

Delete any work apps you don’t need off your phone. I know I’ll find this tricky, but I think I’ll at least delete Slack and my business email.

12. Take a holiday

Last year I gave the last word about holidays for small business owners to Sarah-Joy Pierce from Joyful Communications, and it seems fitting to share it again.

Close your laptop and take a holiday.

The last few years have been tough for everyone. Whether you’ve just started your business or you’ve been operating for years, we all need time to refresh and regroup. The work will still be there when you get back. And breaking your daily writing streak in Grammarly isn’t the end of the world!


My holiday plans

Last year our holiday started with moving back into our newly renovated house and hosting the family for Christmas. I can’t believe we’ve been in the house almost a year, especially as there are still so many things we haven’t finished (thanks successive interest rate increases).

This year, it’s our turn to head to Sydney where we’ll be enjoying the first Christmas lounging by my sister and brother-in-law’s new pool. I’m looking forward to the road trip, catching up with friends and just relaxing.

Thank you

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips to make holidays for small business owners enjoyable. I’d love to know if you’re inspired to schedule some rest and relaxation over the Christmas and New Year period.

Thank you so much for all your continued support this last year. Small business life can be tough, but having great clients, amazing supporters and good friends makes all the difference.

My copywriter hat is coming off on Friday 15 December and I won’t be putting it back on until Monday 15 January.

If you’re keen to work together next year, drop me a line via the contact page and we’ll set up a call for January.

Have a safe, happy and relaxing holiday.

See you in 2024.

Hi, I’m Angela Pickett, an approachable copywriter with stellar communication and organisational skills. 

I’ll help you transform your ideas into logical arguments and engaging copy, creating straight-talking sales pages and winning websites.

I acknowledge the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and work. I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. I pay my respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I work with people from all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be themselves and be valued for their differences. It’s what makes our world go around.