Running a business is hard work. If you’re a business owner, you probably understand how difficult it can be to avoid business burnout. There are so many things to manage: operations, marketing, accounting, social media, human resources—not to mention, home and family duties. So how do you manage it all without going completely insane?
1. Set boundaries. When I first started out, I was reluctant to establish boundaries. As a new entrepreneur, I was eager to dive into my passion and the business I longed to launch. So I was offering more time and services to my clients than was warranted. Although they were happy, I was left feeling the burn.
I had to learn when to say yes and when to say no—without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries is healthy and so important in self-care. It limits the distractions that come your way and help keeps you focused on the goals in front of you. So, how do you set boundaries in your business?
- Give your clients a welcome package that includes the rules. Establish your office hours and days at the onset of the partnership. Most clients will assume that you work Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, unless you specify that you are closed on Fridays, for example.
- Do not accept emails or calls while you are on vacation. Notify your clients and vendors in advance which days you plan to take for vacation. In addition to reaching them over the phone, consider posting your holiday schedule on your website, in your office, and on social media. Take the time to fully recharge. You’ll thank me later.
- Stick with the rules you set. If you establish that communication is cut off at 7 pm then send emails at 10 pm, your customers will get confused. If you must work off hours, use a tool like Boomerang to send your emails during business hours to keep up with your expectations.
2. Take strategic breaks. This is one of my favorite tricks. I LOVE to find a couple of minutes to do something for myself. Something as simple as leaving the office for an hour for a manicure can recharge my day. I can accomplish so much when I return from this short hiatus. Remember almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.
3. Delegate or automate. Handing off tasks and giving up that control in your business is hard to do, but it’s okay to get help. Having a team has impacted my business growth and improved customer satisfaction. If hiring help is out of the question or simply not enough, look into implementing automation systems to help you manage some of your tasks.
Two years ago, I started using HoneyBook for all of my proposals and contracts. It helps me with my bookkeeping, too. Before HoneyBook we were manually creating proposals and contracts and using traditional filing systems. Now, developing proposals is a breeze and takes minutes.
Basecamp is another system I LOVE using to communicate with my team and vendors. We were using emails which would get lost in the hundreds of messages I receive daily. In Basecamp, the communication never gets lost and saves me the frustration of looking for important emails.
Keep going and don’t give up. Take breaks, regroup, delegate, but remember why you started your business in the first place.