Don't Burn Yourself Out When Starting A Small Business

Starting a business is, without a doubt, one of the toughest and most demanding endeavours an individual can take on. There’s no denying that. But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be as tough as some new business owners make it. You might get used to pulling longer hours than you have ever experienced and putting every ounce of energy into getting your business on the right track, but you could end up overdoing to the point it becomes a danger to your health.

Burning out is good for no-one. The stress and the accompanying sleep deprivation are bad enough, but it can also sap away the passion and drive that encouraged you to start your own business in the first place. You can fall out of love with the work that you do, turning your passion project into nothing more than a slog. You should always keep in mind the reasons why you started your small business. It's probably not very likely that you have started it because you enjoy working excessive hours and missing out on sleep. It is also quite unlikely that you started it because you enjoy doing the mundane tasks involved with some office admin.

Here, we’re going to look at five tips for new business owners. These are some of the ways that you avoid burnout, look after yourself, and keep the zeal for the business that you need to succeed.

1) Set out the day ahead of you
Business owners have to get used to wearing a lot of different hats in the working day, at the beginning. When you don’t have as much of a team as you really need, your workload is full, from the core tasks that make you money, to returning and making calls, sharing resources with your team, and so on.

Start every day with a to-do and a to-don’t list. Prioritize your work by its importance and its urgency. The work that is both essential and timely should have the number one place on your day’s schedule, but you can also use this prioritization process to figure out what doesn’t have to be done today.

Give each task a set amount of time and lay out a schedule. Try and batch tasks so that similar processes and processes using the same tools come one after another. Doing one task that makes use of Microsoft Excel after another that uses Excel is much more efficient than switching from Excel to PowerPoint to Excel, for a simple example. You interrupt your workflow less, allowing you to stay more productive throughout the day.

2) Learn To Say No
Say no to potential profit? Are you mad? Well, you might just be making a wise decision. When it comes to taking on a new client or targeting a new subsection of your market, a time-cost analysis is always worth doing. How much is the client worth to you and how much are they offering? Everyone starting a business is going to have at least one experience of a difficult, demanding client who wants to set your own work standards, scratching out as much value for them without providing as much compensation in return.

To these clients, we say no. What’s more, we ensure that we are able to safely say no. Having a consistent and qualitative lead generation process in the business will show you that there are always other clients on the market (provided your business is viable). Many of those clients are going to offer the time-cost value that you need, as opposed to those that want to use more of your time for little in return.

To these clients, we say no. What’s more, we ensure that we are able to safely say no. Having a consistent and qualitative lead generation process in the business will show you that there are always other clients on the market (provided your business is viable). Many of those clients are going to offer the time-cost value that you need, as opposed to those that want to use more of your time for little in return.

3) Outsource Your Non Core Tasks
By this point, you should hopefully have a better idea of what your real work priorities are, where your attention is demanded, and what work is getting in the way of that. Of course, the work that “gets in the way” might still be essential, even if it’s not urgent or particularly demanding. These are your “non-core tasks”. They may include some of the following:

  • Marketing campaigns
  • Payroll
  • Customer support
  • Administration
  • Data entry
  • Scheduling
  • Bookkeeping

They are all essential to keeping the business running healthily, but they don’t necessarily need your core talents. Most competent, trained professionals can carry them out. That is exactly who you should rely on. Outsourcing some of your non-core tasks can immediately alleviate the burden on you, the business owner.

Make sure that you’re choosing the right outsourcing partner for the right job, of course. Virtual assistants can help with answering services, cleaning up the email inbox, admin work and much more. For marketing campaigns, you want to rely on those managers who have experience in the particular marketing medium you’re looking to use. There are plenty of different kinds of outsourcing services out there. Learn to rely on them. While you’re still growing, they are much more cost-effective than hiring new staff to delegate to.

If you are not sure where to start in terms of outsourcing your telephone answering or admin tasks then why not give us a call here at VirtualOffice.Sydney. We are the experts at delivering professional, expert answering services to small and medium sized businesses. Our team of professional receptionists have all been recruited locally and are thoroughly trained in all aspects of answering business calls. Our team are so good at their job that many of our customers clients actually think the receptionist's are sitting in that clients office. I don't think we could get a bett compliment!

4) Use your tech wisely
Because you are set to benefit the most from the fruits of your labor, you will likely be inclined to treat the business as less of a professional endeavor, and more of a personal goal. There’s nothing wrong with putting 110% into your business, but it becomes a problem when it consistently and constantly interferes with your home or family life.

Give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you need a little personal time. Create a strict dividing line between work and home. Set your working hours, beginning and end, and endeavour not to “check in” on the business outside of them unless it’s crucial. This means that you shouldn’t be checking your emails unless its essential, nor should you make a habit of staying in the office late five days in a row.

This idea might leave some business owners aghast, but the truth is that overtime helps no-one. It has been proven, again and again, to cause a net decrease in productivity. You will get a lot more done if you learn how to fit it into your regular working day.

5) Set some ground rules
Previously, if you needed computing power or computer storage you would need to buy yourself a server, get yourself a NAS, buy a storage cabinet and potentially a UPS system. These days computing power is much more of a commodity. If you need a server you can get yourself a VPS (virtual private server), if all you need is computing power then you can potentially rent the use of a CPU. If you need to backup your data then there are a variety of services that you can use to backup and restore your data online, no need any more for managing all of those tapes or backup devices.

In Summary
Keeping your passion and a healthy working attitude when running a new business is all about prioritising. Find the urgent and essential core tasks and make them the core of your working day. Build a schedule around them. As for the rest, look at where it is possible to outsource or to automate your existing tasks and the other tips mentioned above can help you cut them down.

Being as productive as possible is all about working smarter, not working harder. If you start with a culture of overworking, it’s hard to avoid bringing that with you as you scale. Curb those impulses now and enjoy a much more stable working environment.

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