Starting and operating a business for many can be a dream come true, being your own boss, no one to answer to, working when you want, going on holidays when you want, spending more time with the family but reality can be quite different.
As a solopreneur and especially so for start-ups if you don’t do any paid work, or sell your products you don’t earn anything, you probably can’t afford holidays or the time off and every waking hour is spent “working” in the business. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You need to work smarter, not harder.
Sort out a Routine and stick to it
Decide what hours you are going to work and stick to them. For example Monday – Friday, 8am-6pm and Sunday mornings plan your week ahead, confirm meetings, plan the social media posts and who you’re going to contact to generate income. Make sure you take breaks during the day too – you need to refuel, get some fresh air etc which will help you be more productive.
When you’re at home and finished work (even if you work from home) turn your work devices off so you’re not always on call or have set times when you are going to check emails, messages etc.
Get into the habit of taking at least 1 hour before you plan to go to bed, to switch off your devices and get some “me” time. Go for a walk, do some mind exercises, relaxation techniques, have a bath, watch TV, read a book but don’t think about work. You need to switch off and get a good night’s rest.
Ask for help and outsource tasks you don’t have to do
If you’re a plumber your job is to do plumbing jobs, that is where you make your money, that is what you are good at, you are probably not fantastic at doing your admin, invoicing, book-keeping or marketing. Outsource these tasks to a professional, it will be cheaper in the long run as you’ll have more time and energy to serve your customers. And don’t waste your evenings or weekends doing these tasks either – if this is not your expertise why do it, you wouldn’t want your book-keeper to do their own plumbing now would you?
Grow your business
Sole traders or micro business owners really struggle to get quality time off work. If your work and life are not in balance you’re going to burnout. If you employ people make sure they are the right people – they have to be efficient and productive. You need your business to run like a well-oiled machine and you need people who can run your business without you being there. Some sole traders are quite happy just ticking along all by themselves and if you’re one of these, ask yourself; “am I earning enough to retire on comfortably, do I get enough time away from work, am I making a decent profit, am I as successful as I intended, have I fulfilled my business goals?” Not many can achieve all these things but you can change this by creating a strategic plan that allows you to work on your business rather than it.
New businesses or businesses that need to change, pivot or want to bring new products to market often find support from business management consultants helps them to solve their problems more efficiently. Investing in expert help can make the difference between you getting to where you want to be faster and for less money than if you did it on your own.
For example if you want to bring a new product or business to market, you will have to invest time and probably some money to carry out the research yourself. Do you have the expertise, resources and time to do this? How will it effect your current work/ life balance. This is where a consultant can help you to analyse your business ideas, they can help with the research, source opportunities that will allow you to take bold steps that grows your business beyond what you thought was possible on your own.
Business owners often do everything on their own, the admin, book-keeping, sales, marketing, the actual work tasks but this often results in your personal life suffering. You end up in poor health, over worked (underpaid), with a poor social life, few hobbies because your business has taken over. If you find yourself in this position it is time to change. Little changes will make a difference.
- schedule time for regular exercise
- schedule time to relax every day
- set your working hours and stick to them
- have dinner with the family and least twice a week
- eat a healthy diet, snack on fruit, vegetables and nuts and reduce your caffeine, sugary and fizzy drinks and increase your water intake
- grow your business, outsource tasks, can you increase revenue with an employee
- get a business mentor to bounce ideas off and who will help your business performance improve which gives you a better work life balance
- Book a free consultation call with Eris Business Services 01463 831848