It’s that time of year… the season of pulsing hearts, declarations of passion and that feeling of invincibility… or is it? Any relationship needs a little TLC sometimes (and frankly more than once a year) otherwise it grows stale, heavy, stressful and more a ball and chain than your motivation.
If you’re feeling like your relationship with your businesses is suffering from too many chores and too little love, here are 5 tips on how to fall in love with your business again…
1 Is your business relationship giving you what you need?
In heady mix of demanding customers, suppliers, competitors and attempting to keen your team on the ball, it can be easy to lose focus on what you’re really here for. All those demands can get stressful. Is it time to do a business life audit? Did you really come here to be at your desk until midnight trying to get oversight on your business figures or tally what stock you do and don’t have? More often that not, we start out in business with a passion for our brilliant idea and then the admin and the demands tarnish the pleasure. Ask yourself;
- Why did I start this and what did I want from it? Recognition? Adventure? Financial Security? Freedom?
- How is your current business set-up and processes supporting what initially motivated you to start or run this business? Does your relationship with spreadsheets become too needy and demanding? Is your business detracting from other elements of your life because it needs too much time?
2 What do you feel is missing from your business relationship?
What made you excited when you started out? The creativity? The business development? The one-to-one meetings with potential clients and partners? What are your talents in the business? Is it admin and report creation? Is it trying to keep track of what orders, stock or invoices have been keyed and processed? Could it be that you thrive best and drive best when you are free to have time to think or experiment with new ideas? What could you simplify that would give you this time?
3 When you love something – set it free
It is said, when you love something, you should set it free and this can even be true in a business context. How? Everything needs to grow and change – even processes. Whether your staff need to be set free to work more efficiently with tools that make order management and tracking inventory quicker, or how with automated processes you don’t have to manage it all and simply click to run a report at the end of the month, rather than spend days collating information. Now, that would be worth putting your feet up with a box of chocolates, wouldn’t it?
4 Make it flexible
Now, we’re not suggesting you should cheat on your business… frankly, that would be wrong. Like all good relationships though, we need ‘me-time’, that enables us to come back and appreciate it even more. If you are needed 24-7 to manage the processes so they don’t go awry, then frankly you’re going to feel the ball-and-chain moment and no-one likes to be suffocated in a relationship. When you’re pressured, you make mistakes. Flexibility is key. Whatever the size of your business, you can gain time space and productivity from people (such as flexible working styles that statistics show increase productivity) or simplified, customised order management systems that take the load off order processing, reduce double-keying and reduce errors.
5 Simplicity is the key
Just like love, there are agony aunts (friends, coaches or software providers) ready to present you with a plethora of suggested solutions to whatever challenge you’re presented with. Suddenly, what was initially a simple solution becomes complex but when something is simple and uncluttered, you can see the wood for the trees. Cloud apps can be incredible but with the latest statistic being that most SMEs have over 40 cloud apps in operation…what was a magic bean, becomes rather complicated. If you want to simplify how your business works from end-to-end, one business management system with key integrations (such as accounting) mean you are no longer juggling the safety of data or hunting down your business information. One system, one password, one report – sorted. Now, you can go home and have that glass of bubbles you were dreaming of.
Happy Business Valentines Day!