dream of working for themselves, being their own boss, and having the freedom
to only take on clients and projects they love.
don’t realize, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a
business and being self-employed.
Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours.
owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely
only on their own skills.
yet? Don’t be. Every business owner started out self-employed. Just don’t stay
there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others.
While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially
in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to
burnout and stress.
Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing or client services) and those you dislike and aren’t good at (such as bookkeeping). Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the
When it's your name on the door, it's hard to walk away at 5:00 or on the weekends when there is always so much more that could be done. For home based businesses, the trouble is that you live at work. And that means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day and your home life.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships, and eventually your health.
help avoid this by:
- Setting—and maintaining—clear work hours
- Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done (if you have a home-based business)
- Scheduling time for family and other activities
- Taking time for yourself
Vacations and Downtime Are Important
create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the
start, you may need to be available more, but you should definitely be planning
for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time.
- Have trusted employees and/or contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
- Leverage technology tools such as email auto-responders or online based operations software,
- Create repeatable systems so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel
might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time,
at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily
Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.
To your success!
P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family. Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business. We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.
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Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.