Running and managing your own business is hard work. You’re likely on 24/7. You’re thinking, breathing and sleeping your business day in and day out—no matter how hard you try to switch off. The bigger your business becomes the bigger the ideas, thoughts, issues and stresses creep into your everyday being.
As an efficiency expert, I often talk to people who are brand new to business or thinking about starting a business. What’s the first thing I tell them? It’s hard work! I remember one new owner saying they took a redundancy and bought a business because it would be easier. No way, I said.
In a previous article I’ve touched on best practice essentials for starting your own business. But what do you need to do if you’re just starting?
Assessing the situation
Think through these scenarios and assess if you can continue along the same path or whether you need support from an efficiency expert. Inviting an efficiency expert in can help you realistically assess where you’re at—more objectively and more quickly.
The efficiency expert will help you assess the situation by answering a series of pertinent questions. Do you:
- feel people don’t understand why you’re so busy and stressed?
- regret not having time to spend time with family and friends?
- realise you’re not really ‘present’ with those you’re around, because your mind has wandered back to business matters?
- feel the pressures of being responsible for your employees who rely on their jobs to provide for their families?
- feel weighed down by financial pressures—ensuring customers pay their invoices on time so you can pay your bills on time?
- feel confident you’re providing exceptional customer service so your customers return and are your biggest advocates?
- keep up with the products and services your customers want and need?
- struggle to keep up with the latest technology to make your business run more efficiently and effectively while capturing data to keep up to date?
If you don’t score 10 out of 10 on all these scenarios, it’s time to act. The solution isn’t to work harder, longer and with more determination. It’s to work smarter and with the right level and type of support. Enter the efficiency expert. With one business, we spent two weeks assessing the situation and developed a plan to stop the business owner from sinking even further into the quick sand.
The plan was short, sharp and realistic. It was focused on getting results, and quick. It was easy to understand and implement. It was mega effective.
The business owner knew, after our first session, that they would be utterly foolish to go it alone. They understood that this also represented a false sense of economy.
Within the first week, the business owner saw major action and started to breathe and breathe and breathe. The atmosphere in the office change. It was more focused and less chaotic.
Our action plan was completed, one tick at a time. I then moved on to my next client. The business owner started working in a more productive fashion, increasing profits, securing loyal customers and balancing work and life.
- Be real about where you’re at and the support you need. Reach out before it’s too late. Use an efficiency expert to cut through.
- Know what you’re good at and surround yourself with a team you trust.
- Take time out for yourself. Learn to switch off even though you’re the business owner. Golf. Head to the coast with family or friends. Trust me, your business will be there tomorrow.
- Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ if an idea isn’t of direct benefit to you and your business. Never feel badly about this.
- Chase customers who haven’t paid on time. It’s your cash flow at stake and the last thing you need to worry about is bad debts.
- Work on your time management. Complete administration tasks on a certain day, for example. Batch work for efficiency.
- Blend your personal and work life for the ultimate balance. Put your personal activities and appointments into your calendar so they don’t get missed. Don’t feel guilty about it.
- Find an accredited, professional coach (who adheres to a code of ethics)—someone who will listen and allow you to offload without judging. This expert may even support you to discover new things about your business, such as a new way of operating or a new product line.
Yes running your own business is hard work, but it’s also rewarding in so many ways.