The vision you have of working for yourself is that time will be spent making profitable and swift decisions, promoting the products or services that you offer to a welcoming public, and networking with like-minded entrepreneurs before watching the money roll in. However, the reality of running a young business may not exactly be how you imagined it.
If you calculated the wage that you are earning per hour, you would be breaching the minimum wage laws. If you were employed and were expected to work like this, you’d have handed your notice in, but this business is your baby, and you know that with continued determination, you will make this venture the success it deserves to be.
However, you need to make sure that you look after yourself during this tumultuous time, you can’t afford to neglect yourself – the consequences will be far-reaching and go beyond the financial if you do. Here are 3 tips on how to survive the early days of your business, so that you have the health, wealth and motivation to keep on trucking.
1. Keep yourself healthy
You will already know the health benefits of eating a balanced diet enriched with all the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to perform at its peak performance, but you need to ensure that you incorporate healthy eating into your working day. When you are working hard, you need to make sure that you fuel your body correctly – for your body but also your mind. Here are some examples of foods that boost brain function:
- Fatty Fish
Around 60% of your brain is made of fat, and approximately 30% of it is made of omega-3 which are essential for learning and memory. Eat a diet that is rich in fatty fish to keep your brain alert and your decision-making abilities and emotions in check.
Broccoli has a high number of antioxidants that will help your immune system, it also is a high provider of vitamin K, an essential vitamin to boost memory.
- Pumpkin seeds
When you feel like you need a snack, reach for the pumpkin seeds. These little seeds are packed full of nutrients that are important for brain health including copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Avoid junk laden convenience foods. If you fuel your body with the right types of food, you will be able to think clearer, avoid lethargy and energy crashes, and enjoy a stable mood.
You also need to ensure that you have enough sleep. Sleep is vital for your body and brain to rest. A lack of sleep can seriously impact your ability to maintain focus and work efficiently. Tiredness impairs attention, alertness, problem-solving and reasoning skills. In short, sleep plays a critical role in your ability to think. If you are finding that you don’t have enough time, you need to manage your time better to ensure that you do.
2. Manage your time
You have a week’s worth of work to fit into one day, but there is only so much that you can realistically do. There will be days when you feel frustrated that you think that you haven’t achieved as much as you should have done. You know the fable of the hare and the tortoise, and it very much applies to running your own business. You need to reach the finish line, but to do so, you need to exercise time management and pace yourself.
Create a to-do list
Your first step should be to create a to-do list. Even the smallest tasks should be included because these are the tasks that you can complete at the end of the day when you don’t have the energy for the more brain-demanding tasks. Work through your list and prioritize the tasks in order of urgency. You will know at which time of day you are most productive and alert, so schedule this period for the more taxing tasks.
There will be tasks on your to-do list that you do not have the adequate skills to complete to a high standard, so outsource these tasks. Jobs such as website design, your digital marketing campaign or even answering telephones can be outsourced to professionals, freeing your time to focus on your business’s core activities. It feels counterintuitive to spend money but by outsourcing, you can have a professional deliver the job at an agreed cost and within deadline – key features of a successful transaction!
3. Yes, take risks, but always have a Plan B
The challenge of business is that the greater the risks involved, the greater the rewards. If there were no serious risks, everybody would be trying to cash in on your gig. However, it is important that the risks that you take are made by informed decisions. If you have a family to support or a workforce who rely on you to provide an income for them, the pressure is even greater.
To lessen the burden of the risk, have a Plan B. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario and know what your backup plan in the event that your plans backfire. For example, Bonsai Finance offer instant approval credit cards that may get you out of a scrape while you wait for a client’s funds to clear. Or, have a secondary supplier on standby if your preferred supplier is unable to deliver the goods as promised. It’s just about being prepared for any eventuality that may affect the longevity of your business and having the peace of mind that you have a safety net to catch you if you fall.
As head of the business, you need to ensure that you keep yourself healthy so that you are available to make important decisions, talk to clients and negotiate with suppliers. By managing your time, you will be able to prioritize your workload so that urgent tasks that directly influence your revenue are completed in a timely manner and the less important jobs done when you need so comparable downtime. Take calculated risks but make sure that you have a Plan B to turn to in case your risk didn’t give you the returns you were expecting.
Surviving this busy time of starting a business is like a rollercoaster: there are great highs and then great lows, you need to be able to ride it out and remind yourself why you started the business in the first place. There will be times that you want to cry, but once those times have passed, you will be able to sit back and see the money roll in.