When you’re running a small business, there’s no doubt that you wear a lot of different hats. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or managing a team, everything ultimately comes back to you. As exciting as it is, it can be stressful at times – even overwhelming.
“Most small business owners have to wear many hats – sometimes getting to be a strategic visionary, but other times having to serve as a front-line customer service person, amateur psychologist, or office janitor.” –Ben Gran, Kabbage Blog
It’s hard not to feel extremely personally invested in every single detail of your business – and it’s an understandable feeling. You’ve committed your time (and most likely your money) into building a successful business for yourself and your teammates. You want to provide a great service or product to your clients.
While we completely understand the impulse, the best businesses are the ones that aren’t reliant on a single person to be successful.
What can you do to still feel in control of your business, while handing off some responsibility to others?
Ask for help
You don’t have to be a hero. Do you need help? Ask for it. You may be surprised how your family, friends, and professional network may be able to help. Maybe a graphic designer wants to add to her portfolio, or a family friend needs an internship! Don’t be afraid to seek help from experts who can help build your business with skills you don’t have. Just make sure to compensate them or give credit where it’s due.
“The one thing I wish I would have known when I started my business was that I did not have to be the smartest person in the room. I thought as the owner and president that I had to have all of the answers and create all of the solutions. Over 20 years and through the maturity and growth of the business, I learned that it was impossible for me to do it and know it all. In order to grow my company and increase its value, I was forced to let go.” –Anisa Telwar, Founder of Anisa
Delegate or assign
Have you heard of virtual assistants? They are every small business owner’s best friend. A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who helps you with all types of tasks for your business, remotely. VAs can assist with accounting, data entry, research, email, task management, social media, and more. Consider hiring a VA for even just a few hours a week to get some mundane projects off your plate!
“Before hiring your first assistant, be sure to have a clear idea of what tasks they might be able to take over from you. I now use Evernote to keep track of every repetitious task I do each day, week or month so I can decide later what can be outsourced. When I get enough stuff on that list, I’ll hire an assistant to help manage those tasks.” –Brandon Turner, VP of Growth at BiggerPockets.com
Work on your work/life balance
How can you add little breaks into your day or week? If you work nonstop without any “me” time, you’re going to burn out and be less creative and effective in your work. Try these tips for adding balance into your routine:
5 minute meditations
- Try an app like Headspace and tune out for 5 minutes during the day. You’ll come back to your work refreshed, with a new perspective.
Walk and talk
- Take in-person or phone meetings on a walk. Unless you need to be near your computer, conduct calls as you enjoy some fresh air. Your mind will be clearer for it.
- Try not to sacrifice regular exercise if you can help it. While it may feel like a waste of time if you have a lot on your plate, exercise keeps your mind and body fit so you’re able to tackle the tough parts of your day, stronger.
Enjoy a home-cooked meal
- Spend even 20 minutes cooking dinner and you’ll feel better. Not only are home-cooked meals generally healthier than take-out, but you’ll give your mind a different set of tasks to focus on for that time period, again leaving you refreshed when you return to your work.
Take the occasional three-day weekend
- A day – or three days off – can sound ludicrous while you’re building a business. But enjoying time in a new place or simply relaxing at home with your cell turned off can do wonders for your state of mind!
Congratulations on your business – and remember, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who know when to seek help and rest, and when to push forward and make waves. You’ve got this!