Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Work/life balance - What will it be like running my own business?

Setting up your own business can be very rewarding, but there are pressures involved.
One of the main reasons why people start their own business is to obtain a better work / life balance that they desire.
However, in the early days, you should expect that that this is unlikely to be achieved without some very good planning and focus.
As you strive to structure the business to provide the stable foundations for future success, it is likely that you will work longer hours than perhaps you are working now.
If you start the business alone you are usually initially wearing all the business hats. One minute you are the business leader, then the salesperson, then the operations manager, then the finance director and possibly the HR manager. So it is usual, even with the prioritisation of responsibilities, to be working long hours and most days in the initial start up period.
The important consideration here is to be aware of this fact, so to avoid frustration, but more critically you know what you have to do to build the business that is less reliant on you. So knowing when you are the finance manager or the sales person will help you understand what can later be delegated to an employee or even outsourced to a business service provider.
Ensure those close to you, such as your family, are aware of this and you have their support.
Very few businesses are overnight successes and will take time to build a business for the financial return you desire. So be prepared for long hours with little reward. This together with responsibilities of running the business and making decisions will causes stress.
You should also be aware that the buck stops with you. The successes and failures will be from your decisions or perhaps the direction given to others.
You should also be prepared for the feeling of isolation. Some business owners struggle with this because in the past they have always worked in a team of people and now they are working alone, making decisions alone and not seeing people. That is itself is difficult, but avoid just going to meetings for the opportunity to meet someone or recruiting someone because you want someone with you.

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