Bi-directional arrow

Brokers run risk of festive season burnout

by OnDeck Australia,   Dec 11, 2019


One-third of Australia’s small business owners, including the nation’s 16,000 brokers, have no plans to take time off this Christmas. Among those that do, half will have a ‘workation’, staying in touch with work even while on holiday.


  • One in three (30%) small business owners have no plans to take time off this year, with 55% saying their business is too dependent on them.
  • 70% of small business owners do intend to take a break though 49% say they will keep working while on holiday.
  • 95% of small business owners stay connected to work by checking emails while on vacation.


The Christmas/New Year period may be the holiday season for most Australians but not for the nation’s 2.3 million small businesses[1], including 16,000-plus mortgage brokers[2].


Our latest research found 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 down time 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.”


Our 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 becomes overly fatigued, their business can suffer. This makes it critical to embrace opportunities to take time out and recharge this festive season,” said Mr Poolman.


Quick tips to help you avoid burnout


1) Review your calendar

Find a time in your schedule that has the least amount of deliverables due, 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 like us, 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.


[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics 8165.0 – Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2014 to June 2018



Get Started