February 2020 (Vol. 34, No. 2)

Page 72



TRYING TO DO ALL THE LEGWORK OF SMALL-BUSINESS ACTIVITIES WITHOUT USING THE SHORTCUTS AVAILABLE IS GUARANTEED TO EAT UP YOUR TIME, WEAR OUT YOUR PATIENCE, AND POSSIBLY BURN YOU OUT. — By Michele Chiappetta It’s the month of love. But how well are you loving your small business — and yourself as the boss? Here’s a hint: consider how well (or not so well) you are maintaining all the essential elements of keeping your company running smoothly. If the daily ride feels bumpier than it has to, your business systems may need a little tender loving care. It is all too easy to get lost in the regular grind of getting


activities done. Between the work you love doing, which earns you income, and the stuff you don’t enjoy so much but that has to get done (like invoicing), smallbusiness owners can often find themselves working crazy hours. Well-known sources like Gallup and the Bureau of Labor Statistics say that small-business owners work, on average, six days a week, at least 50 hours or more per week. The average employee,

by comparison, works about 35 hours a week. The reality is, small-business owners wear a lot of hats, and you have to get the work done at the end of the day. But merely performing task after task all day long can be draining. And trying to do all the legwork of activities like billing and scheduling and writing contracts without using the shortcuts available to you is guaranteed to eat

up your time, wear out your patience, and make you pull your hair out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Periodically, it’s essential to take a step back and look at how your business is running and what’s needed to help it run more smoothly. This is one of the best ways to love your business and yourself— by streamlining and creating better systems to