As a small business owner it’s hard to juggle your work and outside responsibilities. It’s important to run your business effectively and still have a life outside the office. You need a good balance between work and play for your health and well-being. Small business owners often fall into the trap of working too hard, ending up exhausted from the constant work demands associated with self-employment.
So as we say goodbye to 2016 and look forward to a new year full of exciting opportunities and possibilities, its a great time to sit and take stock and evaluate how you can achieve that important work-life integration and balance.
Why you need balance
Working too much without taking time out for yourself and your family can quickly become counterproductive. You’ll be tired, stressed and irritable, leaving you unable to perform optimally. As a result, you’ll be more likely to make mistakes and snap at people who are important to you and your business. Some dangers of overworking include:
- Missing opportunities because you’re too busy
- Being short-tempered with your staff, affecting their attitude and performance
- Treating your family poorly, resulting in an uncomfortable home life
- Working to the point of burn out or illness
- Losing the passion that prompted you to start your business.
Avoid burn out
There are a number of things you can do to scale down your workload and regain a sense of balance.
Outsource the burden
Outsourcing administrative tasks such as bookkeeping and admin just makes sense. Establishing a good working relationship with your bookkeeper and VA can save you time and money and ensure these tasks are handled efficiently which in turn gives you more time to concentrate on income generating activities.
Delegating will take some of the pressure off you and free up time for more urgent and important tasks, allowing you some leisure time to relax.
Create good systems
Develop a clear operations manual for each process in your business. This lets you and key staff take a break, and speeds up training when someone new comes into the business.
Stretch and walk
Take a few minutes every so often to get up from your desk and stretch. It’s good for your body and will help you stay focused.
Talk to your family
Ask for suggestions and input – they’ll see things that you can’t.
Network with other business owners
Chat to fellow business owners who seem to be working normal hours. You’ll stop feeling so isolated and you might get some valuable advice.
Put mini-breaks into your diary. Schedule a day off once a month, a week off every 12 weeks, or perhaps take every second Friday off.
Re-evaluate your client base
Do you have customers that take up far too much of your time for very little gain? Find a polite way to stop doing business with them or pass them on to staff members to deal with.
Staying passionate about your business and motivated to do your best is important.
If you find you just don’t have the energy you once had, your staff and business will suffer. Take action before you start to enter a negative spiral. You could try the following:
- Set exciting and challenging new goals.
- Share your goals with your staff so everyone understands what you want to achieve.
- Set measurable ‘stepping stones’ to the main goals and celebrate each achievement.
- Refresh your daily routine. Allocate blocks in your diary for key daily activities, such as checking emails, meetings, and visiting clients.
By staying motivated and avoiding burn out you’ll have the foundations in place to enjoy running your business again, while also retaining a fulfilling life outside work.
The Love Your Numbers team can help you get back your work-life balance. From systemisation to bookkeeping, training to time management we will ensure you love your business, while we love your numbers. Call us today to find out more
Director, Love Your Numbers
About The Author
A self-confessed "geek girl", Leanne is driven both by numbers and technology, and how the two elements can work together for the good of a client's business. She thrives on problem-solving and encourages and assists clients to derive more from their accounting and other integrated software and systems. She loves your numbers, while you love your business.
Leanne is a MYOB Certified Consultant, Xero Certified Advisor and Microsoft SMB Brand Ambassador. A social media "junkie", Leanne is always investigating new ways to use these online platforms for the benefit of her business, other bookkeepers and her clients. Beyond bookkeeping, Leanne is an expert business mentor, trainer and facilitator.
In her spare time, Leanne develops and writes MYOB training manuals for Software Publications. These manuals are used throughout Australia for the Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) & (Accounting). When not working, Leanne enjoys spending time with her daughter Brodie and her beautiful golden labs Bella and Cooper.