Putting the Life Back Into Worklife
On a day to day basis, we talk with multiple clients about their businesses. Across the board, from tech start-ups to craft breweries, our small business owners are, to use a cliche, “overworked and underpaid.” When you put your heart and soul into a business, the last thing you want is to see it fail. You stay late to sort through the invoices and bills, get up early to make sure your presentation is ready for a client, and work countless hours of overtime due to the different needs of your employees. To say the very least, work is home and home is work. Often, with a startup business or craft brewery, it becomes a family affair- all hands on deck to make it happen.
Earlier this month, TSheets asked 200 small business owners in the US about the hours they work, the sacrifices they make, and the major challenges they face. Some interesting details from their analysis:
- 50+ hour workweeks are the norm for 1 in 2 small business owners
- 18% work every weekend
- 1 in 3 miss family or social occasions at least once a month
It’s pretty clear (and we can attest to this as well during our tax season) that small business owners will do whatever it takes to make sure their business is succeeding or at least keeping its head above water. However it does not need to be this way. If you are a small business owner here are three tips to bring the balance back to your work life.
- Leverage the help of others. Entrepreneurs were not meant to be alone, nor do they have the answers to everything happening in their business. Understand your strengths and focus your energy there. In areas where you are weak, outsource help to bolster that area. Don’t know how to keep your books straight? Hire an accountant. Need help getting a killer website up? Hire a website designer to take that off your plate. Just because you are the boss, doesn’t mean you need to do everything.
- Schedule time to focus on the future of your business. If you are always putting out fires and constantly managing your business from the rear view mirror, you’ll be spending more time than you should keeping your business afloat. Your small business needs you to provide direction and vision to the company; carve out four hours a week to do JUST that. Spending this time will allow you to see the business from a high level, and chart the course that you want to go; saving you time in the long run.
- Take regular time off. Running non stop won’t make your business better; it will leave you tired and prone to bad decision making. In the TSheet’s study, small business owners state that taking time off is rare. However, in order to be your best self, and a successful business owner, taking time off is critical not only for a healthy mind and body, but for fresh thinking in your business.
Small business owners are the lifeblood of our economy and we know they will do whatever it takes to make sure their small business succeeds. However, without leveraging others, focusing on the future of the business, or taking time off, they may be doing more harm than good missing out on their kid’s soccer game or missing out on family dinner. Taking care of yourself will allow you to take care of your business.