The halcyon days of starting up and running your business through its early stages have long since passed, and you are now sat at your desk wondering just how it got to the point where it has taken over your life.
Your dreams of heading out of the office at 2 o’clock in the afternoon have disappeared under the mounting pressure of client meetings, emails, paperwork, accounting, and payroll.
This is a very familiar situation for a large number of small business operators up and down the country, but it needn’t be.
Getting into a rut is a normal part of running your own company. Remaining in this rut, however, isn’t. Instead, it should be a learning curve which provides the opportunity for you to make some serious operational changes which will serve to not only benefit you, but your business too.
If you feel like your business is taking over your life, here are a few things you can do to get back on top of things:
1. Outsource Some Work
You are only one person and you cannot possibly run the entirety of your business on your own, especially if you are beginning to grow. There are a lot of tasks and pieces of work which you can delegate to employees or outsource to service providers or contractors.
Accounting is a classic example of this. Many small business operators run their own accounts based on a misconception that doing so will save them money. This usually ends being a frustrating and time-consuming process.
You are likely not a trained professional and, even if you are, accounting tasks take you away from your core business. Therefore, accounting is one of the first things you should consider outsourcing.
A good firm of accountants will offer a comprehensive service enabling you to shift your day-to-day focus to running your business.
2. Automate Mundane Processes
There are several processes you can automate with software such as order processing, invoicing, and certain aspects of marketing. Customer Relationship Management systems can also automate key elements of your sales process.
You can even take this a stage further with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and chatbot technologies. Customer service is a good example. Although you cannot fully automate customer service, using a chatbot on your Facebook page is a great way to deliver a basic level of customer service without having to lift a finger.
These technologies can answer basic customer queries which normally clutter your inbox. This gives you more time to spend focussing on the things you need to get done.
3. Analyse and Optimise Your Diary
If you haven’t yet looked at how you spend your time, there’s a good chance you could be working more efficiently. This is because most of your productive moments come from a relatively small percentage of your overall activities.
Figuring out which activities are leading to productivity and efficiency gains while weeding out those which are not a good use of your time is a simple and effective way to regain control. You can only do this if you sit down and go through your schedule day-by-day, hour-by-hour, critically evaluating everything you do.
Running your business instead of it running you involves working smarter rather than harder, while also delegating, outsourcing, and automating as many tasks as possible.
For more help and advice with your business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.