Don’t Do-It-Yourself: How to Avoid Small Business Burnout
You gave up the 9 – 5 life when you opened your own business, but that doesn’t mean you should be working 24/7. You may be working alone, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it all yourself. That’s an easy way to burn yourself out, but there are plenty of ways to preserve your sanity while improving your business.
If you don’t use Twitter in your personal life, you’re probably not going to become an avid Tweeter once you open a business. The same is true for Facebook, Pinterest and your blog. You could be an exception to the rule, but a mountain of mediocre Facebook pages says the odds aren’t in your favor.
An underwhelming social media presence is just going to create stress, since you’ll feel the need to do something with it but it will always be at the bottom of your to-do list. If it’s not worth the hassle, cross it off that list for good.
Whether you need a website, a business card or a sign for your storefront, doing it yourself is probably to worst possible option. The same goes for getting your nephew who ‘knows computers/photoshop’ to do it.
Design isn’t free, but good design will pay for itself and doing it right the first time means it will be at least a few years until you feel compelled to get it updated. If you don’t have the money to hire a local designer, you can try to reach out to local colleges and offer yourself as a project. There are also plenty of freelancing sites (99Designs, eLance) that you can turn to.
Everything else in this article is (technically) optional, but there’s always going to be paperwork that needs to be done. Payroll, invoicing, employee scheduling and a dozen other functions take time and they’re all up to you.
You probably did this stuff yourself to save money when starting out, but clawing back some of your free time is the first step to preventing burnout. With the proliferation of cloud-based apps out there that offer month-to-month billing, it’s never been easier (or cheaper) to streamline the administrative side of your business.