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Work-Life balance for small business owners – achievable, or a pipe-dream?

August 28, 2017

When you dip into an article from an HR consultant about work-life balance, you probably have a few preconceptions about what we’re going to say to you.

 

You might imagine that we’re going tell you that time off is vital, and that no one can fire on all cylinders without getting some well-deserved time away from the office.  

 

Maybe you think that we’re going to drive home the importance of adhering to the legislation around working hours, and ensuring that you aren’t breaking the law when it comes to how you require your staff to turn up and get stuff done.

 

And of course, all of these things are important and most definitely have their place.

 

Here’s the thing though... We’re small business owners too!  

 

Being a Small Business Owner Is Tough

We understand that it can feel like your work is never going to be done.  We know the pressures of running the show, managing a team, wearing too many hats, putting on a strong face and trying to hold it all together.  

 

It’s well-documented that classic reasons for small business owner burnout includes overwork, financial worries, an inability to manage stress and poor lifestyle and health choices. 

 

Practice What You Preach

Conversely, a recent survey shows that a big majority of employers (84%) expect their employees to achieve a sensible work-life balance, to take their full holiday entitlement (69%), with follow up priorities being striving to reduce stress (67%), seeking timely advice and support from healthcare professionals (52%) and eating healthily (48%). 

 

So, definitely not a case of us practicing what we preach to our employees!

 

You Need Work-Life Balance Too

So how about today, in recognition of Employee Wellbeing Week, we have a frank and honest conversation about your work-life balance, as the head honcho in your business?

 

Sure, sometimes the long hours are inevitable if you want to reach your goals, realise your vision, achieve your dream, make more sales, and put food on the table.  

 

But the reality is that you can’t serve anyone (including yourself) if you’re constantly tired, burnt out, and spinning way too many plates at the same time.  

 

No one said that running a business was going to be easy (no, really!), but it can certainly be a whole lot simpler when you recognise that you aren’t a machine.  

 

The Art of Delegation

One of the best things that you can do right now, if you know that it’s only a matter of time before things start to spiral out of control?  

 

Delegate, and outsource the things that you don't have time for, or that you’re just no good at.  

 

Many successful entrepreneurs recognise their own strengths and weaknesses, and ensure that they hire people who can do what they can’t on an interim or freelance basis, or at least people who have the natural skills and abilities to do it faster. 

 

Of course there are other options, such as drafting family and friends to help, or hiring admin or apprentice workers, which can work out at a lower hourly rate. 

 

Weigh the Cost-Benefit Balance

Does it really make sense for you to do everything in your business, if spending half your working week on admin means you aren’t generating new ideas or meeting new clients?

 

Perhaps consider engaging a VA (virtual assistant) or enlisting a concierge service (such as