As a business owner you probably wear many hats. You could be filling part time roles as Receptionist, Bookkeeper, Webmaster, HR Manager, Marketing Manager and even Cleaner. It can be a juggling act and it’s no surprise that most entrepreneurs are stressed and get less sleep than the rest of the general population.
Business owners are notorious for keeping files in their head and then they take them to bed which impacts on their sleep. In the digital and social era, a lot of business owners are in bed but wide awake between midnight and 3am thinking about cash flow, staffing issues and how to grow their business. According to the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney, about a third of the population report having trouble sleeping and about 10 per cent suffer from asleep disorder.
Stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia and sleep deprivation is a form of torture that affects your mood and your productivity. It also makes you prone to sickness and clouds your ability to think clearly. As a business owner, youneed to make decisions every day and a lack of sleep could be a recipe for disaster as your staff and customers are banking on you to make the right decisions. You also need a clear head to plan for the future and manage changes to your industry, new technology and emerging competition.
Of course, entrepreneurs are under constant financial pressure because your livelihood depends on the performance of your business. There’s always some uncertainty when running a business and ultimately, it’s your money and reputation on the line. Even a successful business doesn’t guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Generally speaking, self–employed people work longer hours than most of the population and they tend to make their business a priority over their personal health and wellbeing. Make no mistake, the strain on business owners is more than just financial. It can impact on your personal relationships as well as your physical and mental health.
Time for a SWOT Analysis?
If you’ve lost control of your business and you don’t know where you are heading, it’s time to stop and do some forward planning. A SWOT Analysis is designed to examine your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Have a look at what’s working in the business, what’s not working and what aspects of your business need working on. After taking stock of your current position you can then formulate a plan to move forward.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
You can reduce the uncertainty and chances of business failure by understanding your weaknesses and building on your strengths. The opportunities and threats to your business are usually external factors such as the economy, your competitors and changes in your industry. You need to understand your past performance and look at ways to improve your future performance. This means setting goals and then measuring your performance against those goals and key performance indicators (KPI’s). We strongly believe in the saying, ‘Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail’. The planning process includes monitoring industry trends as well as changes in technology and consumer behaviour. Most industries are going through a digital transformation and the marketing landscape has changed.
Google, websites and social media now dominate which has created uncertainty and new challenges for business owners. Marketing automation technology has altered the skill set required in the marketing department and if you’re still wearing the marketing manager’s hat, it could be time to seek assistance from a third party.
The real value in business planning is the reassurance it provides. You can be confident in the decisions you are making because your strategies align with your financial targets. You can track your progress against your financial projections and set timelines for implementation. This will make you accountable and most importantly, help you sleep at night.
If you need any help with your planning or are losing sleep worrying about your business, we invite you to contact us today.