As an owner of a small business, you tend to spend a great proportion of your time being involved in your business and its activities. You live and breath your business. It is everything to you.
Research has shown that UK’s small business owners work an additional 15 hours more a week in comparison to the national average. Working more hours does not equate to being more productive.
Shorter Working Week?
One suggestion made by UK’s healthcare professionals is that the number of working days in the UK should be cut down from the usual five working days to four to reduce stress levels.
Small business owners who are facing high-stress levels, unable to cope with the workload can end and do end up with health problems such as high blood pressure, relationship issues and may even get into over drinking or drugs.
I do not think shorter working week is practical. A way forward is cut down the long hours working culture.
Busy Being Busy
As you may know, being busy is not the same as being productive. Unsurprisingly, UK’s workforce is not regarded as a highly productive. We fall behind Canada, US, France, Germany and Italy. This is a clear message, we need to change our mindset on working long hours and how it relates to productivity.
As the owner of a small business, understandably, you will want to be in control and as a result, do all the work. However, as Micheal Gerber puts it, by you doing it, doing it, doing it means you are working as an employee in your business and not a smart small business owner. Your valuable time should be spent on business building activities. This means working on the business and not in it.
Outsourcing and delegating work means your valuable time and effort can be spent on business building such as increasing your client/customer base.
Where you delegate the work and empower your employees, there are positive benefits to your business. This includes increased employee satisfaction which will motivate your employees to work more productively.
Less is More
As a small business owner, you are in an increasingly competitive environment. Putting in all the hours, is not the way to beat your competition. You need to think creatively about how to address your business problems. For creative thinking, your brain needs time to think on its own while you are not working all the hours IN the business.