Whether you’re thinking about starting a business, or have experience with start-ups in the past, you’ll probably be aware that it takes up a lot of your time – and you won’t have any to waste!. If you’re just starting out, then let me tell you from experience that it’s a lot of work and can be very time consuming – but definitely worth the effort.
Why is Time so Limited?
If you’re like me, you’ll have other commitments in your life that you can’t just put down at the drop of a hat, such as your partner, children, family pets, or your day job (after all, you can’t very well start a business out of nothing, can you?!). This is why time management is oh so important if you don’t want to get dragged down into the depths of despair with elements such as branding, accounts, customer communications and new orders coming at you left, right and centre. You may want to dedicate all your free time to your new venture, but sometimes, it just isn’t possible.
In fact, if you are starting up a business whilst also juggling a plethora of other commitments, you have to become a time management ninja. Here are some tips on being more productive with your business time, and also the pitfalls to avoid when setting out on your own!
This simply means, don’t take on too much at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? You might want to take on the world and win, or just get to a place where you can happily claim your business is a success. But in order for your business to grow and flourish, you need to be systematic and level-headed. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, or make promises you can’t fulfil; this will damage your credibility and hinder your success.
I set myself goals each day, and take a few minutes to allot a certain amount of time to doing each activity. Of course, let’s be realistic for a second; it’s not always practical to be doing exactly what you need to be doing at an exact time of the day, especially if you’re a busy mother – but step into the 21st century and set reminders on your phone! Setting yourself specific tasks to do each day, at roughly the same time each day or week, should get you into the routine of being the responsible business person you want to be!
Don’t Avoid Your Responsibility
If you’re going to get ‘out there’ and make a good name for yourself, you have to establish a good relationship with your customers. This means checking your phone and email regularly. Even if you can’t fulfil an order – maybe recommend another business who will? Don’t ignore your customers, or this could give you a bad reputation.
This is an important one; you could be in a situation where you’re receiving a hundred emails a day, or just a few; either way, you need to get your priorities straight and stay on top of your workload, otherwise the only one putting your business under will be you!
Keep it Professional
If you’re having a tough time juggling your work and social responsibilities, try to keep it professional; your customers and business contacts do not need to know your life story. For instance, they do not need to know that your six-year-old is at home with the flu and puking up all over your new shirt. I think we’ve got the message, here.
And lasty – good luck with your new business!