How to Avoid Uncertainty, Always Being on the Job, and Burnout – the Top 3 challenges of Small Business Owners

 

It’s not easy being a business owner. Overwork and burnout are two especially common problems with entrepreneurs, and it’s not hard to see why. 

One survey from New York Enterprise Report found that small business owners work twice as much as regular employees. It also found that 33% of small business owners reported working more than 50 hours per week, and 25% said they work more than 60 hours a week.

That’s hardly the only study reporting those kinds of hours, either. Gallup found that 39% of the owners they surveyed worked over 60 hours a week.

It’s not just about the hours.  Small business owners work more, sure. But they’re also under more pressure. This is true whether they have employees or not.

Hard work is an admirable trait, but work for the sake of work is a waste. There are ways to reduce your workload while still putting in the time and effort your business needs to succeed, and implementing these methods will preserve your physical and mental health in the long run. These are some of the ways in which you can reduce your workload and restore your personal time to a healthy level.

1) Delegate

Good business owners understand the value of hiring people smarter than themselves to do a job right. An excellent manager, a well-trained crew and a virtual assistant can do wonders for your bottom line. You can’t do it all yourself. So, don’t. 

Delegate tasks that are time-consuming, such as social media marketing, CRM management, newsletters, blogging and customer support services.  If you train your workers correctly, you won’t have to do the jobs of four different people.

2) Work smarter, not harder

The law of diminishing returns hits us especially hard. Don’t believe the hype when somebody brags of “working” 80 hours a week. If you were to follow them in their day-to-day life, you’d probably find that their productivity was exceedingly low, and that they were classifying a lot of non-work activities as work. If you are sitting at a desk but you’re not doing much, that means nothing. but if you find ways to squeeze more work in the time you have, you won’t have to put in as many hours to get things done. If you’re using old software, upgrade to something newer. If your store’s layout is inefficient, change it. If your business is drowning in paperwork, streamline it.

As an added note, the GDP per hour worked tends to have an inverse correlation with the number of hours worked overall. Put another way, countries in which people work more hours per year generally have lower levels of productivity. As an example, South Koreans work an average of about 2,100 hours a year and produce about 32 dollars of GDP per hour worked. The French work about 1,500 hours a year and produce twice that per hour worked. Smarter work means you don’t have to put in as many hours to produce the same number of goods and services.

3) Manage as much as you need, not as much as you want

A lot of new supervisors and managers run into this problem, but some business owners are this way as well. Your business is your baby – you want people to treat it with the same care and attention that you do! the problem is, some business owners don’t let a person do what it is that they hired them to do. If you believe that you made the right decision in hiring a person, back off and let them do your job. Not only will it be easier on you, but your team will not resent you as much. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on things, but if you are micromanaging your team on a daily basis, you screwed up somewhere. Whether you are being overly controlling or you didn’t hire the right people, the fault still comes back to you.

You’ll never be able to control everything all of the time. If you learn to let the small details go, you can focus in on the things that really matter.

Need help setting up a plan to leverage your time to maximize efficiency and profits?  Schedule a complimentary session with us!

 

 

 

What makes you special?

 

 

 

 

 

One of the first lessons in building a business is really a lesson that has to be continuously examined and almost relearned: what makes you special? How are you unique?

You need to work out what is special about you, and then make a big deal about it. And don’t just say ‘price’ or ‘quality’ – these are empty terms. Make it very specific, and meaningful.

How is that possible you ask? Well here’s an idea: every person and every individual is unique – you are unique, you are different, so focus not only on your product or service, but the unique aspects of your personality, who you are, what you stand for, and what you value.

Better yet – focus on the unique positive difference your product or service will make in the lives of your unique set of ideal clientele.

Need help defining what is unique about your business? Schedule a complimentary session with us!

Are You Running on Auto-Pilot?

Are you going through your life on auto-pilot?  Are you letting your reactions and responses to life’s circumstances and events be dictated by your previous values, attitudes, and beliefs…or are your responses a result of living in the present?

Most people tend to react (act again) as they go through life.  They react to other people’s conscious, or unconscious desire, or ability to “push” their buttons, or to situations without operating in the now moments of their lives. Their reactions find their origin in their learned attitudes, beliefs, expectations, prejudices, values or historically directed emotions. When we react from the history of our past, we take the risk of:

  • over-reacting
  • under-reacting
  • reacting inappropriately
  • reacting too quickly
  • reacting too slowly

Any of these responses to any set of circumstances or people are doomed to cause continued stress, anxiety, and continued, unresolved personal feelings.

When a person reacts without being totally conscious or thinking out of the now, they’ll often say or do things they’ll regret later.

Here are a few strategies to consider the next time you find yourself out of emotional control due to another person or an event.

  1. Take a quality pause, a brief 2-3 second break where you say to yourself – I do have a choice.  I can react the way I normally would have to this stimulus or I can react differently. With the quality pause you can get out of auto-pilot and into the present.
  2. Develop the habit of counting to 5, slowly, before you speak or act as a result of a stimulus.
  3. Give someone you are close to the permission to alert you (make you aware) each and every time you react without pausing or taking the time to think through your response.
  4. Create personal anchors (a personal reminder) that automatically kicks in every time you find yourself losing emotional control.  Thought-stoppers work well here. (What’s a thought-stopper? An example might be to place an elastic band around your wrist…one about a quarter of an inch wide…and each time you find yourself into negative thought, or losing emotional control…just pull the band back and let it go.  Whatever you were thinking about will be gone in a flash.

Living life out of auto-pilot is to live incompletely…to live the past.  To live in the present…the now…only requires that you become conscious every time you are functioning from memory, expectations, or in the future.

And that’s worth thinking about…

Have You Ever Had Conflict in the Workplace?

 

 

 

 

 

Conflict in the workplace and even at home is often inevitable. Conflict is generally a good thing. A difference of opinion inspires creativity and growth. Imagine if everyone was the same and agreed all the time. Life would be boring!

The big challenge is knowing how to deal with conflict when it arises to encourage a win:win outcome.

“Seeking first to understand and then be understood,” Stephen Covey 

Step 1:  The conflict resolution process consists of setting some guidelines for the discussion. Keep the discussion above the line by taking Ownership, Accountability, and Responsibility for their actions.

Getting commitment from each party to play above the line will stop the tendency to get into a blame or excuse situation.

Getting both parties to have both self-respect and respect for others is the next step.  Creating a Win:Win working environment is the only way that will give satisfactory results.  In an environment of both self-respect as well as respect for others, both parties are willing to listen to the other’s point of view and then respond in an assertive way.

Step 2: Now is the time to get them talking. The rules are simple…

Each person gets to speak in turn on what their side of the situation is by starting with the phrase, “What I feel like expressing is…” The other party cannot interrupt until the first person has finished speaking by saying “…and that’s what I feel like expressing.”

Then the other party is to repeat to the first what he/she understands their issue to be. Only once the second person has successfully understood the situation will the first person be able to have their turn to state their case.

This method of conflict resolution allows a creative resolution to even the most challenging of issues. As long as both parties are willing, there will usually be a successful outcome.

6 Steps to a Better Business

  • Want to maximize efficiency and profit?
  • Want to turn marketing into an investment instead of expense?
  • Want to take a longer vacation while the business is making money for you?

Come to our “6 Steps to a Better Business” seminar to learn how. Give your business a chance to reach its full potential so that you can get more out of your business and your life. 

DATE AND TIME 

Wed, August 15, 2018 
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PDT

LOCATION


ActionCOACH of Santa Clara

 

4340 Stevens Creek Boulevard #161 San Jose, CA 95129

Take ACTION today!!

 

 

PS The $10 charge is for snacks & drinks

Guide: How to Calculate Net Cash Flow in 4 Easy Steps

Net cash flow is the amount of money received and used in a business. Before you get your small business on the road, you will need to know how to calculate net cash flow. The cash flows are divided into three categories, operational, financial, and investment.

Step 1- The Calculation Net Cash Flow of Operational Activities

Operational activities are the goods and services a business delivers. The cash flow will help get an estimate regarding the amount of money, which is used while the goods and services are being delivered. In order to calculate the operational activities cash flow, there are three points to keep in mind.

  • The cash inflow in this category includes cash received from the sale of goods, services, any form of cash received, receivables, cash dividends, and cash interest.
  • Cash outflow is the cash given to the employee, suppliers, petrol pump, taxes, fees, fines, interest etc.
  • If you decide to use the indirect method to calculate, the outcome will reflect the total net income, changes, or increase in your liabilities and assets, such as inventory, payables, and receivables.

Step 2- The Calculation Net Cash Flow for Financial Activities

Just like operational activities, financial actives are also recorded. The amount of cash generated are the financials, this amount is generated through sales, stocks, bonds, or other sources. There are two important points to remember,

  • Cash outflow in finance is the amount of cash paid towards debt, to reacquire equity, buy back stocks, or to divide the amount of cash within the number of shareholders equally.
  • Cash inflow is the cash generated from stocks, contributions, borrowing (loan), and investment income.

Step 3- The Calculation Net Cash Flow from Investing Activities

This is to determine the total amount made by investments. Keep in mind,

  • Cash inflows here will be the amount of money collected on principal note, sales of bonds, equity, property, sale of equipment etc.
  • Outflow will be the amount paid for purchases of assets, to acquire debt, purchase of property, equity interest, etc.

Step 4- The Final Calculation

After all three categories are totaled separately, combine the three totals in to one, that amount the ending balance is. This helps you generate an idea of the amount of money that is generated over a certain period. The following is an example:

Calculating Cash Flow for January 2015
Remember, you can use either the direct or indirect method to calculate net cash flow, both are considered accurate.

How to Hit the Target

Have you ever wondered what is the most important factor in effective marketing? Is it the dazzling new features that the product has? Is it the incredible offer? Is it how fancy or original your marketing material look?

The answer: NONE. The most important factor in effective marketing is targeting the audience you are aiming to reach. Whenever I say this, some people will react with “everybody can use my product”. Well, even if everybody can use your product, EACH one buys from you for a different reason, effective marketing is to message specific groups with specific messages that they care about, instead of a general message that slightly touches all groups.

Now the question becomes: “How do I drill down to the ideal target audience?”. If you review your current client base, you can categorize your clients in the following 4 categories:

Awesome – they spend more than average, are a pleasure to serve and never quibble about price
Basic – they are your solid clients who give you repeat businesses
Can’t deal with – they are the “squeaky wheel”, and constantly compare prices
Dead – they are the inactive customers

Which category of clients do you need for your business to grow in a healthy way? Awesome (A-grade) clients of course! Your job is to then identify some common characteristics of these A-grade clients. These can be factors such as demographics, location, what they buy or how much they spend etc. You can even be more thorough – carry out a client survey and actually ask them! You could also take the opportunity to find out what it is about you that they like, which will help you find your Unique Selling Proposition.

Once you know who your A-grade clients are, you can start to build your marketing campaign targeting those clients. There are many ways to do this but one of the simplest is the 5 ½ W’s approach.

Who do you want to target? – Be as specific as you can!

What do they want? – Which product are they interested in?

Where do you find them? – Is there a common place where most (or some) of your A-grade clients gather? Is there a magazine that most of your A-grade clients read?

When will they be looking? – Is there any time-dependent buying pattern?

Why should they take action? – What is that compelling offer that makes your clients take actions?

How are you going to communicate to them? – What medium will you choose – radio, social media, letter, telephone?

This way, you can target your future clients one by one with a clear and specific message that will make them react immediately. We call this the guerrilla marketing approach. For more about this topic, you can read “Guerrilla Marketing” by Jay Conrad-Levinson.