Business tips for business owners to make your life and business run more smoothly, so you can focus on the things you love.

Business tip articles, resources, tricks from other business owners to help you grow your business in the right way for you.

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Monday thoughts – Planning

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

fail to prepareI’m sure you’ve heard this quote before, but I didn’t know who it was attributed to, did you?

I know I’ve been guilty in the past of not spending enough time in the planning phase. Sometimes that’s been as simple as not getting enough food for the weekend picnics we need for all day athletic events. At other times, in my business, it’s been not getting everything ready I’ve needed before launching something. Thinking that if I launch something, I’ll respond to customers needs when they ask. All that has done has put extra pressure on me, I’ve been vague with clients, and I’ve not always given the best service possible. And it was something I could have avoided!

Sometimes in business, especially in the early stages, we’re so keen to be ‘doing’ things all the time, we don’t spend enough time planning, or setting systems and structures up. There may be things which others could help with (partners, children, parents, friends), if only you’d ask them to help you. I know I’ve sometimes felt that if I’m not “out there” trying to “get the money in”, I’m not doing my job properly. But then, looking back, if I’d only put those systems in place, I’d have sold more, or helped that customer in a much better way than I did by rushing.

This was brought into sharp focus last week with a client who has an amazing mission. She was trying to do things by herself, and hadn’t even thought about asking for help. When I asked if someone else could “do that”, she thought about it and said, “yes, but they’d have to be the right person”. So she thought some more and came up with the idea that her Dad may be able to help out with a particular aspect of this project. I got a text from her over the weekend, saying Dad had said yes. She was relieved that she’d got help, and whilst she’ll still have to have an overview on the tasks Dad is carrying out for her, she doesn’t need to find time to actually do “that job”.

It’s a simple thing to ask for help, but many of us think we have to do everything ourselves. Just because it’s your business, doesn’t mean you have to do everything. Yes you’re responsible for everything in your business, but if you got a bit of help, what would that allow you to do more of? Rest, spend time with the family, create new products, see more clients? Think about it.

Two things which are linked for you to think about this week – planning and who can help you? I’d love to hear what ideas this has sparked for you. Let me know.

I had a wonderful conversation about “Conversations that Flow” last week with Matthew Newnham (it’s about 45 minutes). It was fascinating how his simple ideas for how we can think about conversations, can help us make the most of our time with people. If we think of a conversation as a two-way process, talking about something both parties are interested in, the end result is that both parties will feel better at the end than at the start. Does that make sense to you? I need to listen to it again and pull out the excellent tips he gave us to make use of every opportunity we’re given to share our business with others.

You can book a free 20 minute Explore Call with Tracey-Jane if you’d like help with your business planning.

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here:

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5 tips for starting your own business

Starting your own business is an exciting step in your life. It can also be a challenge to ensure you get everything done that you need for ensuring it’s right for you, and is set up for sustainable growth, without you getting overwhelmed.

don't lose focus when starting your own businessTo help you get started, we’ve created a start up checklist for the nitty gritty of starting your own business. However, don’t get bogged down in the boring bits, when there’s lots of things to get stuck into when running your own business!

When we help start up businesses, these are the areas we get them to think about to make things a smooth transition into your new business. What would you add?

Tips for starting your own business

  1. Know your reason for starting your own business & keep that in mind. If you’ve created a new product, fantastic. Well done you 🙂 If you’re wanting more flexibility around your family, keep that in mind. Don’t get bogged down in working all hours in your business, when your whole idea was to spend more time with the family! (Believe me, it happens, which is why I mention this first!).
  2. How many hours are you working on your business each week. Be clear. If you’re working elsewhere whilst growing your business, you’ll need to be really strict with yourself. If you have other commitments, it’s good to think about what hours you’re working so you don’t get distracted.
  3. What name are you using for your business. If you’re a sole trader you can use your own name without risking contention with anyone else in business. You own your name. If you want to use a brand name or business name, check out existing trademarks to ensure you don’t get into trouble before you start.
  4. What’s your goal for the next 6 months. I’m sure you’re wanting to “make a million” next week with your business! Well, that’s unlikely to happen! So thinking about what you want to achieve in stages is helpful, even if you don’t achieve them, it’s likely that you’ll achieve something better. Often you’ll find that as you start your own business you’ll change things slightly to make them work better for you, so the goal posts will change over time as you get feedback. Having those initial 6 month, and 12 month goals will help you focus on a target that then moves with review.
  5. Who’s supporting you. Whilst you’re busy starting your own business, how are you being supported? You need to ensure your partner, family and friends are right behind you. Do you have a structure to your week that means you’ve got regular time off to do the fun things you love? Don’t stop doing them, as you can’t work in the business all the time. You need your breaks, and for your brain to switch off from the business regularly. Being strict with your time off is just as important as being strict with your time in the business.

When you’re running your own business, you are responsible for everything. That can be wonderful, but also a challenge. There’ll be some aspects you love, and others you put to one side and leave. Start out thinking about them all and working out how they’ll all get done, even if it’s not you doing some parts.

Free Checklist for running your own business

We’re here to help support you as you grow your own business. For starters, download the free Start Up Checklist, then ask for the help you need:

What other tips would you add for others starting their own business? Let them know in the comments below.

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Business is personal

Do you think business is personal? When you do business with others, for your family or your business, does it make a difference who/where you buy from?

I don’t just mean buying local, or focus on small business economy. I mean the person, (or the group of people), you buy from. The service they offer, not just the products, or the price.

So, whatever your personal preferences, think about what your customers think, and how they act. How can you make business personal for them?

Tips to make your business more personal

  1. Make sure your business shows the customer the people behind the business. Whether you trade solely online, or have a team, show them off. You’re proud of your team aren’t you? Get their photos (good quality), and put them on the website. Introduce them to your customers so they know who they’re dealing with.
  2. Use the name of the person dealing with that part of the process in communications. Whether it’s an email update, or on the despatch note. It makes it more personal experience. If it’s just you, then make sure the customer knows it’s you.
  3. Share your story. Not only do people buy from people, but they like to know your story. They will tell others your story. They may even share their story with you.
  4. Share testimonials. Showing you’re doing a great job for other customers is a perfect way to show that you’re doing a great job, and helps others put their trust in you.
  5. Tell some family stories. Whilst it’s important to keep your private life private, there may be stories you can share to make your world come to life for your customers. It’s surprising how sharing a photograph of a place you’ve visited can instigate a conversation with a potential customer!

If business is personal, are you doing all you can for your business?

business is personal people buy from peopleI say this as you may disagree that business is personal! Please do let me know by leaving a comment.

And if you do agree that business is personal, are you doing ALL you can to promote your business?

  • Are you being yourself?
  • Do you tell your friends about your business, even if they may not be ideal customers they may know someone who is?
  • Are you getting enough sleep so you start work in the right frame of mind each day?
  • Do you take enough breaks so that the quality of your product or service is high quality every time?
  • Does every customer get the same care and attention you want to give?

Whether you agree with the statement, “business is personal” or not, I’d love your thoughts and your tips on what you can do to create a personal experience for your customers to make them feel welcome. Please leave a comment below.

 

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Stress busting techniques from Esther Nagle

stress busting techniques for business owners from esther nagleWe all encounter a little stress in our lives, so it’s important to know some quick tips to reduce and remove our stress. These stress busting techniques were shared with us by Esther Nagle, from Balance and Breathe, in our recent online conversation.

Stress busting techniques

1. SLEEP

Esther’s top stress busting tip is getting your sleep right. Many business owners struggle to sleep well as your brain is buzzing with ideas, or you “just want to get this done”. Instead of getting good sleep, and letting our bodies and brains rest, we often believe that we’ll work through it.

Without sleep, we’ll start to feel more stressed, and out of control. Sleep helps us get a more balanced view of our work, and life.

2. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF IN THE MORNING

After your great sleep, Esther suggested that you need to make time for yourself in the morning to set up your stress free day. Whatever you do with that dedicated “morning routine”, (and you may need to play a little bit to get it right for you), be it exercise, meditation, planning, or a mixture of different activities, will be important to the day ahead.

3. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

This is one area we know that business owners struggle to do. And it’s often the ‘regular’ bit of it that’s missing!

Whether you set an alarm to keep your day broken up, or schedule your day with breaks into it, it’s important that you step away from your work, take a break, before returning to it.

Having a drink, (why are brew areas so important in offices? Not just for the social interaction, but the act of moving from your desk to get a drink), going for a short walk, stretching, dancing, singing. Changing your physical and mental state for that whole body and brain change is important.

4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

This is an interesting one, but one you’ll probably have heard of. It’s interesting that Esther thinks this is important as a stress busting technique.

Knowing that you have a lot to be grateful for can really help you to focus on what’s fantastic about your work and business, and know that the current frustations (stresses), are only there to make your business better in the future.

Some people write down their #threethings each day in a journal or diary, or even share them on social media (making you accountable for what’s good in your life). Others will have times during the day when they’ll think about what they’re grateful for.

5. GET HELP

I know from personal experience that business owners are often bad at asking for help! We think we have to know it all and do it all. Hmmm. That’s not going help our stress levels is it?

So, what can you ask someone else to do? Is it the family to do more around the house if you need to work in the business more? Can a friend help you out at an event, instead of you trying to do it all yourself & not being pleased that you couldn’t speak to everyone? Would an assistant be helpful to do the things you don’t enjoy/aren’t finding time to do?

6. BREATHE

It’s interesting that Esther chose this one to end our conversation, as when she started talking about it, it felt to me that it was the most important stress busting technique that’s available! [Note – Esther has told me since that she could have talked for days about breathing, so she left it until last to ensure she told us the other top tips first!]

Breathing well, helps keep us grounded. Simply breathing in and out, takes the focus away from our busy mind, and focuses on the breath. There’s different breathing techniques you can learn. For starters, simply breathe in and out deeply three times.

I use this when I start to feel a little anxious and is the perfect way to get yourself back in control when you feel yourself getting a bit ‘off balance’.

More stress busting technique support

I learnt loads from Esther, from Balance and Breathe, in our short time together. Her stress busting techniques are all simple to put into practice and are all free! We just need to do them.

Esther shared an excellent 13 minute relaxation exercise. You can contact Esther directly for more information, or support

If you’d like some support, as a business owner, to reduce your stress, whilst continuing to work in your business, the Business Cheerleading Club has other business owners who know what you’re feeling, and going through, and will support you to put your stress busting techniques in place. It’s a place to ask for help.

What else would you add to these stress busting techniques for business owners?

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Why conversation is important to us

I love talking and meeting people and having a conversation. It helps the world go round, don’t you think?

If you don’t have a conversation with your client, how will you know what they want, and if you’re the right business to serve them?

How do find the right supplier, or negotiate the right deal for your business? You have to have a conversation.

I was looking at ways to help business owners learn tips and tricks to improve you improve your time management, or learn how to do something. I know you don’t have much time to go searching for what’s right for you. There’s so many courses and tutorials and youtube videos available, but what’s going to work for you?

Conversation with experts

in conversation with Sarah Arrow blogging for business tipsLast week I decided to have conversations with some experts I know in different areas of business, and personal development. My goal is to spend no longer than 30 minutes with the expert – they’re busy and so are you – getting a couple of #tipsforbusiness owners from them from our conversation.

I love learning, and spend a lot of time reading, and watching tutorials and webinars. But I’m sometimes left with more questions than I started with! I want to ask “what does that mean for me?”, “how do I do that in my situation?”. So, this way, I can do the asking!

We’re carrying out these conversations on our Facebook page as a live interview. So they’re free for anyone to watch, and ask questions during the conversation (or in advance if you can’t come live). We’ve created quite a list in a short space of time, and are now getting experts booked in for conversations in April. It’s wonderful how so many people are wanting to share their tips with others so we can all learn and do better in our lives and business.

Every conversation is recorded and will be available afterwards. For our Cheerleading Club members, they’ll have them in the club resource centre. We’ll also be putting them on our YouTube Channel, and of course on the Facebook page, so hopefully they’ll be easy for you to find what you need.

What would you like to learn from a conversation

So whilst I’ve started learning and having amazing conversations with fantastic people, we’d like to hear what you would like to learn from a conversation with….Who? Who would you like to have a conversation with?

If we can all have more conversations with each other, we’re bound to understand each other better, learn more, and help each other more aren’t we, and grow all areas of our business too?

That’s a dream I’m having at the moment.

Join our conversations & let’s grow together. A full list of our events is here on our Events Page.

 

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Do you love your business?

Do you love your business? I do now, but it hasn’t always been like that.

All the businesses I’ve run have come from passions I’ve had, and I’ve loved them all. However, times change, life happens, and I know I’ve fallen out of love with some of these over time.

My difficulty, in business, came when it took me too long to recognise I know longer loved what I was doing, and I held on to the business for longer than was good for me. The business suffered.

The hardest time for me, was when I was holding on to a wonderful business I set up, bras4mums, when I’d stopping loving it. I loved the results it gave it’s customers, but my focus had been taken away onto other aspects of my life, and I knew I wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved.

As soon as I made the decision to let the business go, by selling it to someone who loves it, the weight lifted off my shoulders, my mind became clear, and I was able to focus on my other work and businesses. I started flying again, and loving everything I did.

How do you know if you love what you do?

do you love your businessI often get asked this. For some people, it’s obvious. They know as soon as they wake up in the morning what they’re setting out to achieve, and the small step they’re taking that day to work towards it. For others, it creeps up on you, like it did for me.

It may be that you love working with customers, or creating the product, but you don’t like all the pfaff that goes with running the business. Or, you love working from home and the flexibility it gives you, but you don’t like worrying about when you’re going to get paid next.

When I’m asked this, I get people to simply stop, and sit quietly. I ask them questions, and we explore together what they love, and what they could easily never do ever again. They work through the different ideas about:

  • why did you first start your business?
  • do you love your business?
  • what do you like least about running a business?
  • if you didn’t have to work for money, what would you do?
  • what’s the most important thing in the world to you?

These questions generally spark ideas, or questions that they have been hiding from themselves about what they love, and what’s not so great at the moment.

What’s the difference between love your business & love your family?

Well for me, I knew that when bras4mums came to life, it was a new baby in our family. It wasn’t just that this business was born 6 months after my youngest son was born. It grew with us as a family. Whilst I didn’t have to feed and clothe it, if I didn’t love and nuture it, it wouldn’t sustain it’s own life.

I know some business owners keep their business life quite separate from their family life. There’s nothing wrong with that. But as business owners we are who we are, and bring ourselves to our business. Does that separation mean that this business isn’t part of a nuturing family structure? (maybe that’s a question for another day).

I believe you can love your business with passion, in the same way you love your family. Your business can give you back enough love and support, from customers, and the joy you bring others through products and services, to warrant it’s “seat at the table”.

Now your family may disagree with the amount of time you’re spending on your business, and say, “you love that business more than you love us”. Is that how it feels sometimes? Just think of a poorly child. How much time will you spend with the child to nurse them back to health? Will you do the same with your business?

“I’m not sure I love my business enough”

Enough for what? The time away from the family? Time v Income equation? Effort v Reward?

Go back to the questions I ask my clients. Why are you in business? What’s important to you?

You need to be really clear about what you’re doing with your time, and what you want to achieve. Not just in your business, with your time. We only have so much of it, and we know we want to make the most of what we have.

Find Your Why

I’ve been learning a lot about myself these past few years. I felt there was something missing, or I’d missed something vital. It was almost like I knew I hadn’t found my “thing”. When I read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” book last year, everything started making sense again.

I undertook my own Find Your Why session and was amazed at what I learnt about myself, and it was almost like a game of Ker-plunk, where everything starts falling into place. Even though I loved what I was doing, I didn’t know why I was doing it. Once I learnt why all these different things were important to me, I started doing more of each of them, and loving them all even more.

Do you love your business?

If you answer YES straight away, that’s fantastic. I’d love to interview you for our #inconversationwith series, so please get in touch.

If you’re wavering, and saying, something like, “well, I think so”, or, “I love this part of it”, or, “I used to love it”, then maybe it’s time to review what you love doing. There’s nothing wrong with reviewing your business (we should do it regularly anyway), and your role within it.

Let’s book a Find Your Why session together, and really get to why you love your business, (or parts of it), so you can move forward with confidence to grow yourself and your business.

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a ‘Find Your Why’ session with TJ. This session is really worth your time for both your business and personal life. In fact what TJ will get to, is what your personal strengths and traits are and how these can be incorporated into a successful business. TJ is an excellent listener, and this is essential to this session. You need to be prepared to ‘go deep,’ tell the stories you really want to tell and watch TJ bring out the main themes and characteristics to help you bring your core values into your work life.
If you feel like you want your business to be a reflection of you, I would advise you invest in the time with TJ and watch how things develop. We have lots of future plans now and I can’t wait to see how these unfold. Finding your ‘why’ with TJ will help motivate and inspire you.

Angie Webb, Glenbreck Health Ltd

N.B. The Find Your Why session is a bonus in our Confident Business Owner programme, for extra value.

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What to do when you feel lonely

It’s hard enough being a business owner sometimes, but when you feel lonely, life can feel so much harder.

Loneliness is becoming an ever present topic of conversation. We’re used to loneliness being talked about with our aging population. But loneliness in business owners? Really?

Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”.

At work, loneliness reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs other aspects of executive function such as reasoning and decision making. For our health and our work, it is imperative that we address the loneliness epidemic quickly.

Vivek H. Murthy, Harvard Business Review

There’s all sorts of research available, to show that loneliness is an increasing problem, and there’s much concern about all communities about what to do when you feel lonely.

Business owners aren’t immune to feeling lonely

As a business owner, you know how lonely it can be sometimes. Your partner doesn’t understand why you’re working so hard. Your family don’t understand why you need to work when they want you to be with them. Your friends don’t understand that you can’t go out with them tonight as you’ve just got to get this customer order finished. You have no-one to talk to, or share with.

There’s no-one in your usual support team who you think will understand what you’re going through, or the difficulties your facing of making decisions. So, you look inwards to the inner strength you have as a business owner, (it feels like you’ve got a super power doesn’t it?).

You think that running your own business is better than working for someone else, but then you find that you’ve no-one to talk to when you make a brew. There’s no-one to tell what a fantastic weekend you had when you ‘log on’ for work. It can be quite isolating.

I know this feeling only too well. I have some great friends, and lovely supporters, but I’ve had times where I felt so lonely in what I was doing. I felt I had to do “this thing” all by myself. I felt that no-one understood. For me, this period of my life started a period of depression, which took a while to come out of.

Find someone to listen to you when you feel lonely

what to do when you feel lonelyI’ve learnt so much about the power of listening in the last couple of years. It’s a powerful tool for all of us, in every walk of life. For business owners it’s even more important, that it’s something simple you can do when you feel lonely.

Your friends, family, partner, network colleagues, and strangers don’t need to understand your situation. But they can just listen to you. They don’t need to advise, or find solutions for you. In fact, that’s not what you need. You just need to share, with someone, what’s on your mind. You have all the answers in yourself, and by sharing what’s on your mind, you’ll find that it becomes clearer to you what your next steps are.

There are some listening services springing up all over the country now, as more people recognise that listening is way of helping who feel lonely and isolated. I’m a trained listener, and have helped set up a listening service in Preston, near where I live. It’s been so valuable to help those who are lonely, or don’t know where to turn.

Ensure your support network is working for you

Whatever your business, or where you’re based, your support network is important to you. Not only to support you grow your business, but to be there for you when you feel lonely.

Our support network, as business owners, may well be a network group, (online or offline), who understand our business, and our needs. It may be a co-working space we enjoy being in, which offers support to us in not being alone in our day to day work. However we see many business owners sticking with something that isn’t working for them, and that’s making them feel even more lonely in their work.

One step from today is to review who and how you’re being supported in your network. Is it working for you? Do you feel lonely as a business owner? Could you improve your support network in some way? What would that be?

This isn’t about money either. It’s not about how many networks can you be part of, so you don’t feel lonely! It’s about being with the people you feel comfortable with, who can listen to you, and you can listen to them when they need it. You may have friends and family that can do this for you. Or you may have an online group you feel comfortable with, (but there’s nothing better than talking out loud to help you – it does something wonderful in your brain. We need that connection).

Review what you’ve currently got in place, and be honest with yourself if this is serving you and your business at the moment. It’s fine to change support groups as our business grows. Think of it as a child growing up – they need different support as they grow too.

We’re hearing that business owners are finding the Business Cheerleading Club a comfortable place to get support, and be listened to. That’s fantastic, and we’re delighted to be able to offer this place where you’re listened to, you can share your anxieties and successes, and you’ll be understood for who you are, and what you do.

We hope it’s not just a place to go when you feel lonely, but for whole business support.

I also offer listening sessions to business owners, as I know how much this can help. Yes I can coach you, but sometimes, you just need someone to listen to you. Whatever support you need, don’t be lonely. Ask for help. We can’t help you unless we know, (just like your friends would tell you!).

What do you do when you feel lonely at work?

Book a listening and/or coaching session with Tracey-Jane:

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Are you managing all areas of business efficiently?

When we first start out in business, we often dive straight in with the thing we’re most comfortable with, and also the thing we’re most passionate about. And we love it!

Then we realise that there’s more areas of business that we need to consider to ensure that everything is done, so that customers are served on time, suppliers are paid, and that we’re paid too! It maybe isn’t so simple running a business after all!

If we’re a one person business, then we’re responsible for ensuring all areas of business are completed to a high standard and nothing is missed. Even if we get others to help us, whether it’s family and friends, or we pay a specialist, we still need to manage all aspects of business for it to function efficiently.

What areas of business do you focus on?

Do you have particular areas of business you focus on? Is that because you enjoy them more? Do you shy away from the finances as you don’t like numbers? Or do you simply love putting new photographs on your website, or communicating with customers on social media?

There will be certain areas of business we prefer. However, as business owners we need to ensure that all are covered and carried out, so our business can grow.

Areas of business to manage:

areas of business

  • Finances
    • money in
    • money out
    • annual accounts & tax returns
  • Resources
    • staff, contractors
    • systems
    • asset management
    • property management
  • Products &/or services
    • buying or making
    • storing
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Marketing
    • Offline
    • Online
  • Public relations
  • Administration
    • systems
    • procedures
    • reporting
  • Technology
  • Strategy & structure
  • Planning & review

You may well have some other areas of business, or terms you use. Do they come into these general headings? Or do we need to add some more?

OK, so now we’ve identified areas of business you need to manage, are you managing them efficiently?

Again, efficiency for one business will look very different to another. So, firstly, do you have time scheduled in your diary for each of these areas of business? That’s the first thing to consider.

You may only do your business finances once a month, whilst you work on marketing every day. That’s fine. As long as you’re working on all areas of business, then you’ll be making progress in your business.

So, which areas of business do you need to pay a little more attention to?

The Business Cheerleading Club focuses support on your WHOLE business, and the business training, experts and business coaching will support the area YOU need help with. Join now, and don’t worry about what you haven’t been doing. Let’s focus on what you have been doing, and put a plan in place for those other little bits.

Once you’re aware of all the areas of business, you can plan to work on them, in the right way for you.

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How much time do you need for running your own business

Running you own business is rewarding, challenging, hard work, and time consuming. Making sure you’ve got enough time to dedicate to running your own business is important to it’s success.

It’s worth reviewing how much time you’ve got to spend every so often. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your business, thinking about starting a business, or have been running your own business for years.

Life happens. Children grow up, and their needs become different. Parents get older, and we may find that we’re needed to do different things within our families. Expectations change.

The beauty of running your own business is that you can be flexible. You’re in charge! And how you divide your time is up to you.

Running your own business needs time

How much time you need depends on so many factors, that there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this.

time for running your own business v incomeConsider the following questions when reviewing if running a business is right for you, or sustainable:

  • How much time do YOU need to spend in the business? If you’re the only person who can do something, then you’re limited by that available time
  • Is YOUR time flexible, or is it fixed? Will that work for your customers? For example, if you can only work school hours, but your customers want evening appointments, it’s unlikely this business will work for you
  • What can someone else do & how much will that cost you? For example, can you pass work to an administrator or Virtual Assistant (VA), leaving you to carry out the tasks that only you can do?
  • Can you pass work to a contractor to carry out, whilst you simply manage their work each month? For example, using a Public Relations specialist to work with the media can be a really efficient use of your money and time. Leaving them to use their expertise whilst you carry out your favourite work.

We worked with a client recently who had 10 hours a week for her business. She had a salaried job, and looked after her family as well. When we looked at what she needed to do, it was do-able for her. She assigned 8 hours a week to creating new products, (she makes things by hand), and will spend 2 hours across the week doing her marketing. This was sustainable for her for the next few months whilst she created more products and added them to her website. She’d then shift the hours slightly to do a bit more marketing and website work.

Full time, part time or time to time?

There’s many ways to run your own business. There are so many opportunities to create a part-time income, or even a time to time income. You don’t have to think of running your own business as a full time occupation, although for many business owners, this is their aim.

If you’re wanting to test the waters, then it’s likely you’ll start when time allows.

As your client base grows, you may find you need to commit to regular part-time hours each week or month. This doesn’t have to be the same days and times each week or month, depending what you do. Telling yourself, (and your diary), that you’re working on your business, will ensure you dedicate the right amount of time to growing your business.

Sometimes circumstances overtake us. Tracey-Jane’s second business only started to grow rapidly when she was made redundant from her employment. This gave the impetus, and time to grow the business, and it took off. Everything was in place to grow it, and it worked out.

We often have to think about income v time in our considerations of the time we need for running our own business. For many business owners, or those considering starting a business, it’s the income that prevents more time being spent in the business for family security.

It’s often hard to work out if you have enough time available to successfully run your own business to earn the level of income you desire. Be honest when you’re working through your figures, and pretend it’s going to be hard to make the sales to start with.

How much time do YOU need for running YOUR business?

Think it through. Work it out. Write it down. Is this exercise about TIME or MONEY? Or are they tied together for you?

What works for you may be quite different to your friend, or that person who’s doing something very similar to you. We’re all different & our family situations will vary. Ensure you know what your minimum number of hours are that you can commit to running your business and if it gets that you can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to hang up your business owner badge?

We know business owners who do a couple of hours a month, (these are running Multi-level marketing businesses), to those who are working 60 hour weeks when they’re at full capacity in busy periods of the year.

Need help working out how much time YOU need for running YOUR own business? Grab our 5 Day Kick Start Planner and really focus these next few days on the amount of time YOU need. Or join the Business Cheerleading Club & talk it through with other business owners there.

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Do or not do. There is no try

“Do or not do. There is no try”

This is a quote from the iconic Star Wars character Yoda. He is so wise isn’t he? (I haven’t watched the newest film yet, so no spoilers please).

I’ve always found Yoda to offer deep questions to those he works with. They may not always understand the question, but once they ponder it, their brain takes on the challenge, and works out a way of moving forward, or answering the question.

We can all learn from this way of questioning and thinking.

Thinking through a problem

We all learn and process information differently. We’ve been helped over the last 18 months from the Mercury Model, to understand these differences. Some of us love new information, others of us take time to let any new piece into our head.

So when a friend or colleague asks us a question about some work we’re doing, we’ll all have a different response to it. Depending how they ask the question, we may be defensive, or accepting, and then our brain will do something different with that piece of information.

If we work with a coach, or have someone we use to bounce ideas off, they may well challenge us, just like Yoda does, and ask ‘difficult’ questions. I know I often think, “ooh, that’s a hard question to answer” when challenged in this way. But once I’ve let my brain mull the question over, and try a few different scenarios out so I can answer, I realise that it’s a question that goes to the heart of what I’m trying to do. If I can find the answer to this question, then I know I’ll have answers to more of the questions and problems I’ve been having recently.

Taking action – Do

do or not do. there is no try. yodaThere’s LOTS of motivational quotes about taking action. And my social media feed is full of ‘take action’ blurb at the moment, (as in, it’s all very well having these amazing ideas for 2018, but you’ll only achieve if you DO something about it).

It’s true! Only by doing will you achieve what you want.

And Yoda is right to. What do we mean when we say, “I’ll try”.

  • Will we try to do our best?
  • Will we try and contact that supplier we’d love to work with? Or,
  • Will we try to be the best parent ever?

What does TRY mean anyway? Surely we’re going to be DOING something whilst being our best at the time? Aren’t we BEING a parent & DOING what we think is best for our family at the time? And we either pick up the phone or we don’t with that supplier we want to work with.

It’s only by DOING that we’ll move things forward, or tick things off our list. If I TRY to complete everything on my list for today, I’m not focusing myself on each individual task I’ve listed. If I focus on the task and then DO that task, I’ve done my best and I’m making progress to achieve my daily tasks.

Choosing to Not Do

There will be things that we choose not to do, as they aren’t priority. Or they’ve been on our list for ages, and we haven’t done them yet, so are they important now?

By saying. “I’m not doing that”, we’re taking action on something. We haven’t failed. We’ve just prioritised what’s important to us. Life and business moves on. What felt important a month ago, may now be unnecessary, (and some may say, that’s why you didn’t do it at the time!), so cross it off the list and move on.

No try

I’ve always found it interesting that a rugby score is called a try. If you’ve ever watched a rugby match, then you’ll know that it’s a physically demanding sport, and everyone in the team tries hard to pass the ball, tackle, with the goal of scoring a try.

That’s the only place I can think of where you want to ‘try’. Every other situation we face, we want to DO and not simply TRY to do our best.

Try v – aim, attempt, do one’s best, do one’s damnedest, endeavour, exert oneself, have a go, make an attempt, make an effort, seek, strive, struggle, undertake

Collins Dictionary

Do you tell your children do “do your best”? Even if we use the word ‘try’ as from the definition in our dictionary, it says, “do one’s best”, and “make an attempt”. That’s all we ask our children to do – just their best on the day. That’s all any of us can do isn’t it?

If you need help taking doing and taking action, then join our Business Cheerleading Club which will support you take action to achieve the things you want.

Or, if you need more one to one support, book a coaching call with Tracey-Jane and work out what’s important on that list of yours and prioritise what’s left.