Break free for the sake of your business

Kirsten Hawke

Innovation just doesn’t happen when you’re busy being busy.
There’s a lot to be gained by going for a walk around the block, picking up a fishing rod or doing absolutely nothing to gain inspiration for your business.

Break free for the sake of your business

When you step away from your work-day routine you can see how others do things and contemplate if your business does things better or worse than others.

This doesn’t necessarily mean spying on your opposition but instead, look at things other companies do that you could apply to your business.

This could reveal the ideal point-of-difference your looking for to make your enterprise stand out in the crowd.

The team at BUSINESS buddy has used the Virgin Pulse Global Challenge to hit the refresh button and we’ve discovered the following tips to help you get some buzz back into your business.

1.       Take a big break

It sounds obvious but for many people, getting away from work can appear impossible.

If you’re the boss, you may think the ship will sink while you’re not at the helm but this is unlikely if you have developed good systems that allow others to manage without you. Check our previous blog You can have a holiday and own a business, too.

For a big break, get planning and include something you’ve never done before. Maybe climb a mountain, visit a famous art gallery or volunteer for a community project. During that time focus on the task and you never know what inspiration will pop into your brain.

Leave work at work.

Bonus tip: If you give your employees some space, they will learn more about the business and take greater ownership of workplace success.


2.       Take a mini break

It may seem a bit silly but just going for a walk around the block during your day can be the perfect mini break to help you come up with a new idea or solution to a tricky problem.

Eat your lunch away from your workplace and avoid spending that time staring at a screen.

Resting your headspace is a chance to recharge every single day and if you work in a sedentary job, a walk will be good for your body as well as your mind.

Bonus tip: Bosses must lead by example. If they never take a breather they set a stressful workplace culture, which ultimately reduces team productivity.


3.       Innovations can be small

When you take a break, the little things that make you happy could be introduced to your business. That traditional chocolate on the hotel pillow adds a small amount of value to the experience for guests. What could be your chocolate on the pillow that adds value for your clients?

As we’ve become immersed in technology, your company may stand out by creating something old school. Maybe a digital product manual could be in a hardcopy comic strip format.

Or, maybe a smartphone could have a fake crayon as a stylus touch pen.

Bonus tip: Observing the world around you is inspiring. Take time to look closely at the things that amaze you and apply them to your business.


4.       Service that matters

Think about how you are treated by others during a break and consider what your clients experience when they deal with your company.

If you regularly escape to a favourite café, what is it about that place that has won your loyalty? Do the staff treat you just right? Do you enjoy the surroundings? Is it in a convenient location? Is the coffee better than anywhere else? Is the food better than anywhere else? Is the price right? Is the service fast or slow and relaxed?

During that moment, consider what service you can introduce to your business – but only if it really matters to your clients. You only need to read the reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to know that what is important for one person, is irrelevant for another.

Bonus tip: To find out what is important to your clients you can do a short and sweet online survey with SurveyMonkey. Just make sure you ask the right questions.


5.       Bring back some fun

Who doesn’t want more fun in their life?

When you return to work – consider how that fun holiday stuff could be incorporated into your business.

How about involving the team in a sports event, a cooking class or get them to build something like a bike for a local charity. These are all things people do on holiday and they make a great change from staff socials that revolve around drinking.

It could be as simple as encouraging staff to bring their well-behaved dog to work that makes everyone’s workday better.

Bonus tip: Give your team ownership of a fun event and let them decide the best timing, activity and their level of involvement.

Taking a break from business is a great way to stay fresh and reflect upon what makes you get out of bed every morning.

And, you never know – it could be the time when you daydream up the next successful thingamabob that makes you wealthy enough that you can take a permanent break.

Kirsten Hawke