5 ways to tell if your business is taking over your life
Do you spend every waking moment thinking about your business; the work you do, daily challenges, not to mention the time spent running the operational side of things.
Putting work first is one of the downsides we face when running a successful and growing business. Although your family and friends support you to the end of the earth, they deserve a break too. Eventually, they may lose patience with you and the added stress when that situation arises is not a good place to be.
Do any of these sound like you?
- You can’t switch off. You talk about your day, the work you’re doing, the clients you’re helping, how you’ll grow the business. In fact, everything; you’re hopes, dreams and plans.
- You attend to telephone calls and emails at all times of the day, night and weekends.
- You have prioritised work over social events. Have you cancelled a get-together because work got in the way?
- You are so glued to your screen that it’s difficult for anyone to have a conversation with you.
- You take your work on holiday
What do your actions say to your customers?
Although done with the best intentions, operating in this way sends a message to your customers that you’re available for them 24/7 and if they think that, they’ll keep doing it.
If you’re running a small business and working over 12-hour days, maybe it’s time to think about getting some help.
3ways to break the “always working” cycle
Who’s in control? You or your customer? Do your terms and conditions state you’re available 24 hours a day? No, I didn’t think so. If a customer wants you attend to his work at weekends and holidays, do you note that time and charge them appropriately?
If you’re provide a service does your contract set out your core business hours and what the cost is for working outside core hours?
Review your contract for every product or service you provide. Why do you need a contract? If you haven’t got a written agreement between you and the customer there are no rules. It’s as simple as that.
Get on top of your invoicing
Money is usually the biggest cause of business and family stress. Getting behind with book-keeping is bad for cashflow. It means you don’t know who’s paid, who owes you what and what bills you need to pay. If you’re behind with sending out your invoices, you won’t be getting paid at all. Make it a priority to know what’s going on with your cash flow because work is a lot more fun with a healthy cash flow.
Outsource tasks to a Virtual Assistant
Using a virtual assistant can really benefit your business and is one of the best ways of getting some time back. There are many multi-talented VAs out there with specific packages for small businesses. Think about what tasks you can let go – even if it’s just for an hour per week. A VA I know told me how one of her customers said she had not only saved him money but literally saved his marriage? By outsourcing his diary management, travel planning and admin to her, he had time to focus on his family.
What would happen if you delegated just a fraction of those tasks? Could it be more time with your family? You could actually take a break and stop thinking about work at the weekend.
About Rachael Chiverton
I help businesses to get paid quicker. Simple as that. I’ve turned a long career in credit control into a service designed to improve your bottom line. My clients know me as the Contracts lady and the Cash Flow Queen.
How? I write contracts, terms and conditions specifically for your and your customer’s needs which means you get time back for your family, friends. You sleep better knowing both you and your customer are looking at the same music and you afford those luxuries rather than being your customer’s bank.
“Rachel was very engaging and really made me sit up and listen.
What she said made so much sense and with just a few small changes, we have strengthened our invoicing process and tightened up our contracts.”