Why did you set up your own business?
Some of us go it alone because we’re too nutty to fit comfortably into the everyday business world. Some of us want to get rich, others set up small businesses because it’s the only way to indulge ourselves fully in a subject, product or service that’s close to our hearts.
Whatever the reason, most of us go it alone because it’s more fun than working for someone else. The minute you get bogged down in boring detail, savaged by the tax man or get your emotions bent out of shape by nasty customers and suppliers, it’s suddenly about as far from fun as you can get without falling off the edge.
That way madness lies. To help you stay sane, here’s nine ways to make your business life more fun.
Think positive: Do it even when you’re in such a bad mood the next person you see is likely to have their ears pulled off and posted down their throat if they so much as look at you in a ‘funny’ way. It’s weird, but you do seem to get back what you give out. Think positive whatever the business world throws at you instead of ‘awfulising’ and you’ll have a much better time.
Be nice even when you don’t feel like it: by the same token, there’s nothing worse than kicking yourself all night because you let Mr Nasty out of his cage and treated someone with less than the required amount of niceness.
Hand over the boring bits to someone else: Did you set up in business because you adore ordering stationery, creating spreadsheets or doing your monthly invoice run? Probably not. So save the best bits for yourself and hand over the dull stuff to someone trustworthy and sensible instead.
Keep up with your paperwork and admin: When your record keeping has gone to pot and you can’t find your elbow, never mind distinguish it from your arse, there’s trouble on the horizon. Head it off at the pass by dedicating an hour a week to filing, paperwork, organisational stuff and admin.
Don’t let your cash flow run away from you: Most Brits would rather discuss their truss in public than mention money. But a healthy, smooth cash flow is a lifesaver. Use your new-found niceness to positive financial effect and put in place sensible, regular processes and procedures to remind yourself to remind the buggers to pay you!
Call time on endless phone interruptions: Throw in the telephone tennis towel and get a call handling service on the case. It’ll cost less than you think. Ask me and see.
Create a beautiful, comfy, well organised workspace: How much of your life do you spend in your office? Loads. Whether you work from home, rent or own premises, it helps when your surroundings look, feel and smell good. Be tidy. De-clutter. Bring in plenty of plants, good for both body and spirit. Put up pictures. And invest in colourful, snazzy office equipment. There’s nothing quite like a bright pink pencil sharpener to make you feel life is worth living.
Set achievable targets: When you hit target, you feel great. To avoid needless disappointment and disillusion, set yourself targets you can actually achieve.
Be your own ‘arsehole in the room’: Scientific and psychological research reveals that those really annoying people who question every little bloody detail are actually very useful human beings indeed. Be honest with yourself about your plans, achievements and goals, questioning your assumptions every step of the way. It’s a proven way to cut the considerable risk of self-delusion.