February 29th, 2016
Small business owners are typically full of enthusiasm and drive for their chosen career, but unfortunately this can easily lead to everything else falling by the wayside. This can be a particular problem for people who work from home, as it’s only too easy to mix life and work up completely and always be on duty, with no designated time off. Getting the right support services in place, such as a good virtual office package, can help to reduce the strain.
In one recent survey, a shocking 25% of the small company bosses who responded said they had fallen ill as a result of stress and overwork. While some entrepeneurs might enjoy the adrenaline rush which can come with working long hours to meet a deadline on occasion, this figure shows up the real dangers to health and wellbeing. Overwork also puts a strain on family life – so what can be done to improve the situation?
Delegation – Are you spending too much time on tasks which don’t really need to be done by you as the business owner, and spreading yourself too thin? If you have other staff, the best way forward is to delegate some of these tasks and concentrate on the work which you personally need to do.
Even if you are a one-man or one-woman band, it can still be possible to delegate by contracting out some tasks, for instance by getting someone to do your accounts, or finding one or two freelances you can rely on to step in. As well as delegating, you may also be able to build collaborative working relationships with other small businesses so that you can help one another with large projects.
Communication – It’s vital for small businesses to be easy to contact, but that doesn’t mean you personally have to be available 24/7, jumping up from dinner to answer a work query on your mobile phone. The key is for people to know how to contact you and to have confidence that you will get back to them. Instead of you personally fielding everything via a mobile, a good professional virtual answering service can be a big help here.
Make Use of Technology – Small businesses are often understandably nervous about new software or other technological solutions, because of the time that will be lost in training and set-up time. However, the fact is that making full use of technology can cut the amount of time you need to spend on routine tasks. So it’s worth getting expert advice on which tools or apps will make a difference to your business and staying up-to-date with this fast-changing area.
Allow Yourself Some Me-Time – It can be easier said than done, but even if you are working at home, to get the right life-work balance it’s essential to go out of the “office” and relax. Even just taking a break to watch TV can help, but even better is to take regular exercise. Many self-employed people say this makes them feel better and helps them to concentrate. Having a regular appointment in your diary, so that you know in advance you will be out swimming, spinning or at the gym on a certain morning or evening each week, may make it easier to keep it up.
Look After Your Health – This is not just about exercise, but also healthy eating and getting enough sleep, which both improve stamina for coping with business demands. It’s an obvious point which sometimes gets lost in the immediate crisis, but working long hours can actually reduce productivity through tiredness, while keeping healthy and alert can improve quality of work. It’s also important to take some time to wind down and relax before going to bed, which can help to prevent insomnia.
Give Yourself a Break – It’s often harder to take a holiday when you are a small business owner, but, however dedicated you are to your work, you need a rest like everyone else. If you have been working very long hours during a particular project or to hit a deadline, it can be a good idea to take a long weekend afterwards and recharge your batteries. It’s also important to have proper holidays, and again having the right support services in place makes it easier to do this.
Basepoint’s virtual office package range and the support they provide can help people working alone from home to feel less isolated, and take some of the routine tasks off their shoulders. Various different levels of service are available, with options including professional phone answering services. Virtual office customers benefit from a professional business address, with the ability to meet clients in our breakout area or hire a serviced meeting room.
As a virtual office licensee, you will also be invited to all networking sessions and seminars at your chosen centre. Basepoint has business centres in High Wycombe, Ipswich, Evesham and many other towns. When the time is right you can move into your local centre as a licensee if you choose, on flexible terms.
Virtual Office Packages – Click for more information on the different options available from Basepoint to support your business.