With a new year comes a new chance at tweaking things in your business to help achieve the Holy Grail for many small business owners: a healthy work-life balance.
Sometimes it may seem impossible to achieve work-life balance, but there are facets of your business you can tweak to help.
I’d like to focus on five areas which can help you build a beautifully designed business and gain your precious time back.
1. Office workspace
Do you walk into your office with a spring in your step?
Is your workspace tidy? Could you get down to business the minute you walk in the door? Or do you need to spend 30 minutes shuffling paper trying to find what you need?
Are your accounting and business records organised so you can easily put your finger on any tax invoice the ATO may request at any time?
Or, is your style more like “Yeah I’d probably be able to find it, but I’d have to look through my desk drawers, my car, my tax shoebox.”
January is a great time in the year to declutter your workspace. I would encourage you to do so before business starts ramping up for the year.
2. Day-to-day tasks
Are you satisfied with your day-to-day tasks?
Are there tasks that you could delegate?
If you think about it, this is the type of work that keeps us in the office after hours, on weekends and overtakes our thoughts so we can’t relax.
I am a big believer that there is enough work for all of us, so let’s start sharing the love.
Why not start outsourcing or referring this type of work out and start concentrating on the work that you love doing, are good at doing and usually is more profitable for you to do?
To gain time, you must first learn to let go.
3. Supplier negotiations
Are you completely happy with your current suppliers?
Do you have suppliers that don’t respect your boundaries and call you outside of business hours?
Do you have suppliers that no longer fit within your business model or the one you’re are currently designing?
If the answer to these questions are No, Yes and Yes then it could be time to let go of suppliers that are causing you headaches.
4. Employee satisfaction
Are you happy with your employee performance?
Do you have employees that are not respecting your business’s ideals and systems?
Do you need to sit down with your employees and go through your expectations of them, your plans for 2017 and how they need to work to fit within your plans?
Ultimately having employees who are on the same wavelength as you are may save you more time in the long run, even taking into account the time needed to train up more staff.
It may also have a positive impact on your mental health knowing both you and your staff are pulling in the same direction.
5. Tracking the numbers
Are you completely happy with how you are recording and tracking your business’s numbers?
Do you have a system that adequately records your business’s income and expenses?
Do you have a system that provides you with a daily, weekly or monthly profit and loss statement? Are you able to tell whether your business is making money or not?
Do you have a system that provides you with a daily, weekly or monthly balance sheet that shows you what your assets (bank balance, who owes you money) are and what your liabilities are (credit card balance, loan balance, monies owed to suppliers, money owed to the ATO)?
If you have cloud accounting software, you may be able to answer the above questions with a resounding ‘Yes!’
Making the switch to cloud accounting can help you access all this information in a click of a button rather than trawling through paperwork to find the answer.
If you do have cloud accounting software but only using it to record your business’ income and expenses, start scheduling time in your diary to use the information in your file to start tracking your numbers.
You will be surprised at just how much lighter and in control you will feel, when you start playing this numbers game.
This is the perfect time of the year to clear the decks and say to yourself “Out with the old and in with the new.”
What changes will you make so that 2017 is one of your best years yet.