When you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for managing your budget, time and all of the important day to day decisions within your business. Therefore, it’s essential you practise the best business habits to ensure you remain productive and focused on advancing your company. Here’s the habits we think will have the most positive influence on your business…
1. Wake Up Early
You know what they say, the early bird catches the worm. This is most definitely true in business, where an early morning is important for a productive start to your workday. Nothing was ever achieved by lying in bed and sleeping the day away after all! Studies show the most successful business moguls are early risers too so use them as your motivation. If you’re not naturally a morning person, try gradually making your wakeup time slightly earlier each day to ease yourself into the habit. Another great tip is to get your work clothes and everything you need for the day ahead ready the night before so you can just grab it and go!
2. Maintain A Good Sleep Schedule
Equally as important as an early start to the day is getting enough sleep to ensure you’re energised and ready to tackle your to do list. Although you may be tempted to burn the midnight oil and work through the night, it’s far more productive to get a good night’s sleep, followed by an early start. Try to establish good sleep habits by following a night time routine to signal to your brain it’s time to sleep. Low lighting, a hot drink and keeping electronics out of the bedroom are all great ways to help you drift off. A set bedtime can also help to ensure you get those all important 8 hours!
3. Attend Networking Events
When you’re self-employed it can be difficult to maintain relationships with other business owners in your area, particularly if you work from home. You can network with other likeminded business people and promote your business at the same time by attending networking events in your area. This also gives you the opportunity to learn from others and gain new clients by offering your services to those who could benefit. Likewise, meeting those offering different services in your area could encourage you to outsource the tasks you’re struggling with and boost the productivity of your business. You could even attend general networking events and meet-ups specific to your industry to expose yourself to a wide range of potential opportunities.
4. Outsource Business Areas You Struggle With
Many self-employed business owners are understandably reluctant to outsource tasks in order to keep costs down. However, delegating tasks to those specialising in the areas you’re struggling with can actually have the opposite impact and increase your business turnover. Time means money and wasting your day’s efforts on tasks which you’re unskilled at or slow at performing is never productive. Obviously you do need to limit your outsourcing to keep your outgoing costs under control. But, employing experts in specific areas such as social media and customer service can really help to give your small business the exposure it needs. You can read more here about the benefits of outsourcing for your business.
5. Follow A Budget
One of the business habits many self-employed people struggle with is setting and following a realistic budget. It’s important to calculate and set budget targets for specific areas in your business to ensure your expenses are minimised and your profits maximised. Working out all of your expenditure can also help you to recognise where you can make necessary cutbacks. Similarly, where you could increase your spends to heighten your company’s efficiency. You could discuss your costs with your accountant or financial advisor if you’re unsure of the ideal budget for your business.
6. Set Daily Business Goals
Starting your day with a clear plan of what you need to achieve is one of the best business habits you can adopt. Creating a daily plan every morning ensures you remain focused and productive by setting clear targets for the day ahead. Breaking down larger responsibilities into manageable tasks also guarantees you’re constantly moving towards your wider business targets. So get your to do list ready!
7. Stay Positive
Being self-employed has its fair share of both benefits and drawbacks. Working for yourself allows you freedom not typically granted by a conventional employer. However, it can be a struggle when you’re ultimately the one responsible for all the financial and day to day obligations of the business. It’s important you focus on the positives and don’t dwell on the negatives to maintain your motivation at work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a short walk to clear your mind or talk over your fears with your business mentor. Devising a business action plan can help you to stay positive by brainstorming ways you can improve upon areas you’re concerned about and alleviate your worries.
Another great habit to keep your business in order, is to ensure you have the necessary business insurance policy in place to cover you in the event of a claim. Read our new business guide to business insurance for more information.