Planning and time management are key to achieving success in the world of business. When operating a business, individuals often find themselves immersed in their work, constantly thinking about tasks and deadlines. Additionally, they must strategise for the future and chart the course of their business.
Time away from the business
Effective separation of time between work and leisure is vital. Many business owners find themselves working seven days a week for years on end, prompting the question: Is this the vision they had when starting their business? Presumably not. While putting in longer and more demanding hours than employees is acceptable, clearly delineating work and personal time is crucial. Taking a day off, especially on a Sunday, is invaluable. It should be a genuine break, free from emails, calls, or impromptu office visits.
Taking time away is essential for maintaining engagement in the business and focusing on other significant aspects of life—namely, family, friends, and hobbies. Employees typically enjoy around four weeks of annual leave, and business owners are encouraged to follow suit. Distributing this time evenly throughout the year, such as taking a week off at the end of each quarter, is a prudent approach. Whether spent with family or pursuing personal interests like gardening, the aim is rejuvenation.
Inadequate time management among business owners often stems from inadequate planning. At Kidwells Business Solutions, we emphasise the importance of business plans for a reason: failure to plan is tantamount to planning to fail. A well-structured business plan can mean the distinction between realising business objectives and stumbling.
From personal business experience, it has been found that stress diminishes with a frequently consulted business plan. This doesn’t necessarily entail repetitive readings; instead, once short-term targets and the routes to achieve them are determined, they can be noted on an office whiteboard along with the expected completion dates. This practice nurtures focus, engagement, and an efficiently organised schedule.
As a business matures, patterns emerge in the ebb and flow of workload and stress levels. This applies to various departments within the enterprise, even for smaller businesses where the owner assumes multiple roles—marketing, bookkeeping, credit control, and others. Different business types naturally exhibit distinct characteristics.
Leveraging this knowledge as a business owner involves reallocating attention or personnel from slower to busier areas. Though seemingly obvious, unforeseen surges in activity can catch one off guard due to inadequate time management. Comprehensive business plans should encompass trading fluctuations and strategies for handling them. Over time, these plans can be updated to precisely anticipate these fluctuations.