1. Create a good work/life balance
Many new businesses start at home – in a spare room or at the kitchen table. Let family and friends know you may be at home but your work time is for work, and plan time accordingly. Creating boundaries in the early days will help you hold together the pressures of earning a living with the pressures of being there for others. It may seem like you have to spend every waking hour on your business, but all work and no play will harm your business. Decide if you’re a night owl or an early bird and try to fit your schedule around that knowledge about yourself.
2. Plan, Organise and prioritise your day
Spend time planning and prioritising your days/weeks/months ahead. That way you know where you’re going but you can still be flexible when things crop up in the day. Having a list or a schedule will help you keep your business priorities as just that.
There will be times that you have to put in extra hours, for example if you’re pitching to a client, but it’s a good idea to keep track of your working time – for both productivity analysis and to make sure you take some time back, when you can, without feeling guilty.
3. There’s an App for that
You can really work smarter and increase productivity with technology and apps. There are so many business apps for smart phones and i-pads that you can have your office and business tools with you wherever you are. With the right tech you can have your files, documents and financials synced to your phone, in the cloud and accessible when you need them. You can send Quotes, raise bills, see who pays you, divert the office phone and track your marketing campaigns – all from the phone or tablet.
4. Use dedicated business contact details – phone line, e-mail & social media
Not only does this make you look more professional, and probably bigger, it keeps work and personal life separate – saving you time on sorting it all out, getting distracted and keeping your boundaries clear. Virtual office assistance can answer your phone and take messages and provide a virtual address with mail delivery options as well. Social media, with tools like Hootesuite can help you queue up your interactions and blog post for the weeks ahead.
5. Face-to-face meetings and travel time
There are times that face to face is the best way to do business. But there are also times when a phone call or video call will do the job just as well, and more efficiently. Services like Skype or face time, can be a great way to see your supplier, or customer, talk business and still have time to fit in other priorities. Whenever possible switch travel and meeting time to a friendly talk by video call.
6. Healthy body, healthy mind
When you have a moment – or you stop – it’s tempting to stay on-line and catch up with social media – all sitting down. Taking short breaks to move around will really help you keep focussed, perk you up and help you keep going longer. If you have a good outdoor environment, take a quick walk outside to add some fresh air and sunshine as well. Keeping your body healthy will help your mind cope better with running your business.
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