Your business is trucking along, and you’re on a path toward success. However, your tank is running low and you’re ready to relax. But how?
Russell Good Web Development has answers. Keep reading to explore the great “ates”: automate, delegate, conversate, and compensate.
The digital age means there’s an almost never-ending list of automation tools for business. For example, there are tools to streamline your social media and email marketing campaigns, track customer support, and ensure a steady workflow. If your business is in the business of shipping products, you may also consider switching to a dropshipping model.
As Printful explains, even large businesses are moving to a dropshipping model to boost efficiency. Essentially, it cuts out the middleman and allows you to deliver products directly from the manufacturer to your customer. Shipping times may even be quicker, and you run a much lower risk of running out of products since the vast majority are produced and shipped on-demand.
As a small business owner, you likely spent 10 or more hours in the office each day. While there is nothing wrong with keeping an eye on your livelihood, there comes a time when you must learn to delegate both essential and non-essential tasks to others.
Another great delegation option is to hire a virtual assistant. Their responsibilities run the gamut, from managing your calendar to talking to customers to data entry to sending out invoices to ordering office supplies. Essentially, they can take tasks off your plate that don’t require your level of expertise. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t be. Virtual assistant services can be quite reasonable, and keep in mind, every penny you spend on your new assistant will mean you have more time to spend on the revenue-building aspects of your business.
On a personal front, think hard about bringing in help to do non-work-related duties, such as cleaning and lawn care. Any chore that is less valuable to you than your downtime is a candidate for outsourcing — depending on the price, of course.
One of the most crucial aspects of running a business is your ability to communicate with your employees and how you encourage them to interact with one another. Work with your team to determine the best ways to make information known across departments.
This might be a quick stand-up meeting each morning to keep all pertinent personnel informed regarding what’s going on throughout the business. Each project manager or team lead should come to these meetings prepared with a list of questions that need immediate attention. Discourage employees from interrupting others and suggest instead that all non-critical queries be addressed at a designated time.
Other ways to effectively communicate with your staff is to send out a daily or weekly update newsletter or to have department managers provide daily task lists to their team members. Microsoft Office offers a handy task list template, which you can download for free or edit and distribute online.
Finally, if you want your business to run smoothly, you’ll need to come up with ways to attract and retain the most talented employees. The Peterson Institute for International Economics suggests that lower-wage workers tend to be motivated by money. Even a small increase in pay may be enough to bolster productivity.
Those in middle and upper management, however, may respond better to non-monetary benefits, such as health insurance, flexible schedules, and opportunities for advancement. While these things may be a more substantial investment, you will save time and money by taking care of the employees who take care of your clients.
After going to all this trouble to eke out time for self-care, apply the same types of “ates” to your self-care plan so sticking to it is easy. You’ll want to sort out your priorities, but here are a few ideas:
- Instead of signing up for sessions with a health coach, you can automate your exercise and diet regimen with a well-rounded app.
- Take care of other aspects for your body — for example, your skin and hair, by finding products that you love and can rely on.
- Instead of making runs to the grocery store every couple of days for fresh produce, delegate to a delivery service like Instacart or Misfits Market.
- For your mental well-being, consider important conversations — with yourself — which can be facilitated by a guided journal.
- Always make time to unwind. That might mean curling up with a good book. Or hitting the trails. Or putting a puzzle together. Whatever pastime you enjoy, work it into your schedule.
Regardless of your strategy and particulars, if you find yourself on the verge of burnout, that’s a good sign that it’s time to take a step back to prioritize your self-care routine. After all, if you don’t fuel your mind, body, and soul, you won’t have the energy to run your business successfully.