May 19, 2020

Give Yourself A Break: Small Business Owners Can Take A Holiday Too

small business
Scott Gardiner
3 min
Give Yourself A Break: Small Business Owners Can Take A Holiday Too

Small business owners can find it difficult to switch off, and many don’t even take an annual summer holiday. However it's important to realise that a healthy business requires a healthy leader. If you're not taking proper care of yourself, and that includes taking an annual break, you're also not taking proper care of your business.

Often if a business owner takes a holiday, many of them will have their smartphone or laptop nearby so they still end up working.

If you work long hours over a continued period you'll end up being less productive. Take a decent holiday and you will come back refreshed, re-energised and refocused—and more able to cope with a busy work environment.

Prepare Ahead

If you're a business owner planning to go on holiday, you should plan it well in advance so problems will be less likely. If you have staff they should all be trained to use your systems.

Good organisation will enable a business to continue to operate or be put on hold while the owner is on holiday. Poor systems and preparation can damage your business and you might create extra work for others. And how can your holiday be relaxing if people are constantly calling you for help?

Communication Matters

Good communication with customers is essential. First, let your customers know that you’ll be away—at least six weeks in advance.

The next step is to determine the level of service you will provide. If you're going to be away for a few weeks and have employees, clearly allocate responsibility so that problems can be dealt with if they arise, and agree on a weekly 'call-in' time.

If your systems are good and your staff members have clear instructions, customers shouldn't need to call you while you're on holiday. Otherwise, leave your answering machine on and explain that you're away but will pick up emails and respond to urgent enquiries.

Also set up an out-of-office automatic email reply, telling people when you will return and whom they can contact in your absence if the matter is urgent.

Stepping In

If you don’t have employees, try to find someone who can cover the basics such as calls and emails. Being a sole trader and having someone you trust that can cover some of your work in your absence is invaluable. It's great to have that support if you are on holiday and you could return the favour if they are also a business owner. Find someone you trust and work with them to give you a break.

Even though many small business owners do not go on holidays, most do recognise that breaks are important, and almost all accept that things are unlikely to go wrong while they are away for a short time.

Digital Detoxing

While advising owners to completely forget about their business on holiday isn't realistic, ‘digital detoxing’ is a less drastic step. Access your email once a day so you're not thinking about your business all day. If there is a serious issue, you can make a call to deal with it.

If you're going to the beach for the day or out for dinner, leave your phone in your room, otherwise the temptation will be to check it. If you are spending the entire time constantly 

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Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


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