Small business tips for striking the right work-life balance
Your business is everything to you. Still, it's important to step back when needed.
Starting and running a small business is a massive commitment of both money and time. Many people underestimate the time investment that it takes in the first few years of a business to get it off the ground, fully operational, and on the track to success. This may be why only 56% of businesses will survive the first five years, and the other 44% will close their doors.1 So, to put your business in the group that succeeds, what does it take? Having the right work-life balance, for one. Here are some tips that will help you strike that balance.
Use technology to run a smarter business
I am a lover of technology, and for a good reason — it can make your life easier. There are a limitless number of tech tools that help you keep track of business activities as well as automate processes. By getting "smart" about how you run your business, you can save enormous amounts of time and focus your energy on other duties or areas of your life.
Learn to delegate
Delegating can be tough for business owners. Between money being too tight to justify a new hire, to fear of "losing control" of certain processes, many small business owners fall into the trap of doing everything themselves. You can learn to delegate — and make your life easier — by creating solid processes for everything you do in your business. Once you have these processes in place, spend time finding someone with the skill set and personality you feel you can work with and pass the processes off to them. This makes delegation (and training) much easier, and you will quickly see a return on your investment in the person you hire.
Make time for family and personal life
Setting aside uninterrupted time for your family and personal interests is crucial to striking a work-life balance. I have made it a point over the years to have date nights with my wife and spend quality time with my children. Also, my church is important to me, and I make it a point not to let my business interfere with participating in church or other non-business, community activities.
So find the time to turn off the phone, tablet, and computer, and be present with those that you love and the activities outside of work that matter most to you.
Share your journey with your family and close friends
While your family and friends might have a general understanding of what you do, make sure to share with them exactly what you do, including the wins and failures you encounter along the way. I make it a point to explain to my family what I do, how I make a living, and what makes me happy in my business. This gives them a deeper understanding of why I do what I do and why it is so important to me.
Though the right balance will be different for every business owner, it's important that every individual find one. Failing to recognize the need for balance and focusing 100% on business — 24/7/365 — can easily lead to burnout in both your business and personal life.
Learn more about the importance of setting boundaries and sticking to a personal schedule to ensure you have the right work-life balance.
1"Survival rates of establishments, by year started and number of years since starting, 1994–2015, in percent." Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/bdm/entrepreneurship/bdm_chart3.htm