There’s no greater feeling than running your own business and watching as it grows from a tiny, embryonic idea into something which is profitable and generating a loyal following of happy customers.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight, and even when you achieve ultimate success, the stresses that come with running a small business can be overwhelming for even the strongest of characters.
If you’re feeling the pressure, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Here’s six brilliant tips for getting back on track and regaining your business mojo.
1. Give up the tasks you shouldn’t be undertaking
Chances are, you’re spending significant time each week undertaking tasks which should be done by someone else. Only, you don’t want to give them up because you don’t trust anyone to do as good a job as you.
It’s time to let go. There are people out there who can do just as good a job, if not better. Identify the more menial tasks (should you really be doing the invoicing?!) and find someone to help.
2. Implement flexible working
People are increasingly working far more flexibly, thanks to advances in cloud technology and recognition by businesses that happy employees are productive employees.
If you’re still slogging away at a 9-5 and regularly finding yourself working beyond those hours, it’s probably time to implement flexible working for yourself and the team. Loosen the rules about start and finish times, and you should find productivity begins to increase.
3. Remove email from your smartphone
Email is still a brilliant form of business communication, but it’s also a productivity killer and something which is can quickly become overwhelming.
Do you check your email first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Why? Every single message can wait until you’re sat at your desk, so try removing email from your smartphone. As daft as it sounds, it could be your saviour.
Remember – if people need you urgently, they’ll call.
4. Book one day off every month and a proper holiday each year
This one is simple, and enjoyable. Every month, devote one day to yourself and take it off.
Also, make sure you take a proper one or two week holiday every year, without fail. All work and no play will not only make you dull – it’ll completely wear you out to the point of exhaustion, too.
5. Find a mentor
The most successful CEOs on the planet have benefitted from mentors, and you might need one too if you’re starting to feel the pressure.
A mentor is someone on whom you can call whenever you need an outside, experienced eye on the decisions you’re making and challenges you’re facing. The closer you get to this person, the more they’ll also become a brilliant shoulder to cry, too.
6. Speak to another business owner
As I noted earlier – you’re not alone. Most business owners feel overwhelmed either regularly or at some point during the year. And like any personal issue, it really helps to talk to someone in the same position.
Whether this person is a partner, stranger you meet at a networking event or – gasp – a competitor, make a friend of them and take time out each month to meet up for a coffee and joint offloading session.
Running your own business should make you happy, and if you follow my tips above, start each day with a plan (never forget that to-do list) and learn to delegate, you’re in for some very good times ahead.