Starting your own business is an exciting prospect. You look forward to being your own boss, choosing your own hours, working flexibly, and keeping all the money for yourself. It sounds wonderful but when you get going you realise that there is a lot of ‘other’ stuff that also needs to get done; marketing, networking, customer care, product development, accounts etc. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but here are some tips to avoid the overwhelm and have a successful and thriving business.
Decide Your Ideal Working Week
First thing’s first, what do you want your ideal week to look like? What days do you want to work? How many times do you want to go to the gym? Are there any days that you will work somewhere different; like your workshop, desk, or even at a coffee shop? Making these decisions will help you structure your week more effectively.
Create a Weekly Schedule
When you’ve decided what your ideal week will look like, it’s time to adopt the time blocking technique to begin creating your weekly schedule. Block out when you will work and when you will do the other stuff you want to do in your days. You could even go one step further and be more specific with what you want to do with those chunks of time i.e. you might want to write all your social media posts for the week with one chunk.
Decide Which Tasks Can Wait
It’s important to accept that you’re not going to be able to do everything. It’s just not possible. Prioritise your tasks and if there are any that can wait don’t be afraid to put them off if you really don’t have the time to get through all your tasks. Just be sensible and recognise that if you keep pushing a task back, it won’t get done and then that nagging feeling that you really ought to do it but now it feels like a much bigger task will creep in and is likely to lead to overwhelm.
Get an Accountability Partner
Find someone who you can share your plans with and could hold you accountable for getting stuff done. Do this in whatever way works for you but be consistent with it. There’s no better way of ensuring you do what you say you will then if you know someone is going to ask you if you did it, and if not why not.
Work in Chunks
It is impossible to stay focused 100% of the time. Split your work into chunks so that you can give a specific task deep-focus for a chunk of time and then move onto another task. Remember to factor in breaks and some walks as this will make you more productive when you get back to work.
Plan and Prepare for the Busy Season Now
If you know that you have a busy season in your business spend some time planning and preparing for it now. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan but having a road map will make you feel more organised and prepared and is likely to remove some of the pressure.
Offer Value to Existing Clients
When you’re busy working on growing and developing your business, it can be easy to let your work with existing clients slide. Don’t! Make sure you value these clients and provide them with the best possible service. If these clients move on, you are likely to feel despondent so remember to keep nurturing these relationships.
You can have a successful business and avoid overwhelm by applying these tips.