Looking after yourself is the best thing for your business
It happens to every business owner. Your business becomes your life. It’s all encompassing from the time you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. You eat, drink and dream growth, hiring and marketing. As hard as it is though, it’s important you take some timeout for yourself to avoid burnout. In cutting back, you will actually find that it’s the best thing you’ve ever done for your business.
Over the last decade as awareness around mental health as increased, there has been a greater recognition of the challenges many business owners have in maintaining a balance between their job and health. As any business owner can attest, running a business requires a lot of hours. According to a recent study by business lender Prospa, over a quarter of small business owners work more than 50 hours a week. When you also factor in that many business owners don’t take sufficient annual leave, and work on public holidays, there is a lot of time taken away from being with loved ones, or relaxing.
Most business owners fall into the trap of wearing long hours and limited holidays as a badge of honour. Many studies have shown that this is the wrong approach. If anything, doing long hours and limiting holidays over an extended period actually has a detrimental impact on your business’s performance. For most small businesses, the owner is either the only person, or the key person who keeps things ticking over. From that perspective, if that person is tired, grumpy and underperforming, it's bound to hit the bottomline.
As you would expect, business owners who take leave, work regular hours and enjoy activities outside of work, run more successful and longer running businesses. Operating in this way is more sustainable and can lead to longer term enjoyment and less frustration in the workplace.
For many business owners however, getting to this state of enjoying both work and life, can seem like an unattainable goal. You feel a drop in sales, revenue or processes fall apart when you relax. You inherently feel that any time off or day off, impacts your business significantly and you can’t take the risk. In any situation like this, it’s important you recognise that whilst it may seem hard, there are tangible steps you can take to control this problem.
When running your business, it’s very important to have a continuous improvement mentality and this can both be in the form of improving the quality of the work you do, but also the time it takes to do it. Look at where you spend the majority of your time during the week and see what you can delete (remove from your task list) and delegate (hand off to someone else). Also identify if there are any items that can be done in a more efficient way, this could be by changing a process, outsourcing it to a third party, or implementing technology to streamline the task. Every hour saved is an extra hour in your diary to spend on you.
Tools such as Thriday can help take away the bulk of the time spent on banking, payments, financial admin and accounting. This can save you a tonne of time, but also reduce the anxiety associated with managing your money and staying compliant. Thriday’s automated accounting, reconciliation and tax maximisation takes away the burden on business owners to do the work.
Ultimately, the days of putting blood, sweat and tears into your business and thinking that this is the only way to succeed is dying rapidly. It’s now recognised everywhere, that a mentally and physically healthy business owner is the best outcome for the business. Now it’s on you to make it happen.