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As a small business owner, you dedicate yourself completely to every client and setting boundaries when trying to get some downtime is not a straightforward task

As a small business owner, you dedicate yourself completely to every client and setting boundaries when trying to get some downtime is not a straightforward task. You find yourself torn between wanting to be there for your clients and your need to disconnect.

  • However, is it necessary to choose between your needs and clients’?
  • Is there a way to have your cake and eat it too?
  • Can your absence be good for your clients as well as for you?

A few tricks can help you make the most of that time and help your clients do the same.

Prepare in advance

Start by asking yourself how long do you want to be away. Make a list of all the tasks you would have to do in that period. The length of preparation is directly affected by the amount of time you want to be away for. The longer you plan on being absent, the longer you should prepare for it. Once you produce that list of tasks, arrange it by difficulty. The preparation process might require more time than you expected and it makes sense to start by dealing with the most demanding ones first. In case it demands more time than expected, you will have started with the most challenging ones and potentially have some time to spare.

Delegate the responsibility

When you take a look at the list, divide it into those tasks that you can finish before you go and those you will need to delegate. Think about whom you can rely on while you are away since life and business will continue. Work should not depend on you to run smoothly. In case it does, that means the process is dependent on you and can break at any time. You might agree that is not a true recipe for success. Therefore, think about who can replace you and for what tasks.

Distribute responsibility onto your colleagues, so you can rest in peace and neither one of them, in particular, feels overwhelmed with responsibility. Inform your clients whom to turn to regarding what topic in case they require help while you are away. Besides showing you care about them and providing them the needed assistance, you will also gain some freedom from the chains of calls and emails.

Inspire independence

Wondering what to do in case you work independently and no one to delegate tasks to? How does one set boundaries to clients if there are no team members to rely on? Would they feel abandoned and you feel guilty if you didn’t respond when they needed you? There is a way to prevent these feelings and make this a learning and growing experience for both parties.

Start by making a list of topics you think they could try to contact you for while you are away. What on this list absolutely needs a prompt response, and what can wait? What can you say no to, or not respond and feel okay with it? Make sure these are boundaries you can stick to. Otherwise, you will be sending mixed messages to your clients if you respond to something you mentioned you will not address while being away. Furthermore, they will respect you for being able to set boundaries and respect them even if they are unhappy about them. The crucial step in the process is informing them about the boundaries in advance and making sure they know what to expect. Once you have informed them it is up to both of you to stick to the agreement. Most importantly it is on you since clients try most often testing those boundaries and you will have to practice maintaining them.

By starting to prepare ahead of time, you can also address your absence as a topic with your clients. Provide a time for them to express their thoughts about what could come up in the meantime, what they rely on you most of the time and what other resources can they turn to if needed? Besides helping you rest without feeling worried or tempted to respond back, this topic can encourage them to build more independence and resilience. In reality, you won’t always be there for them, nor will you be there constantly. No one will in fact. Therefore, this can be an opportunity to practice self-reliance and note down those issues they weren’t able to solve independently. This can bring to the surface the topic of resources (lack of them, really) in life and reliance on others. The more resources we have to turn to when in need, the greater the chances those needs will be fulfilled. In coaching for the businesswoman, the topic of boundaries is an important one to examine and practice. Your absence can spark this immensely important life topic.

Utilize downtime to enlighten issues or processes to be improved

Interestingly, the process of you being away can demonstrate what area of business needs improvement. Where are the breaking points that depend solely on one person? What were your colleagues contacting you for when you were away? How can you be confident to have necessary instructions in place, or a process, to address those key issues before your next vacation?

Use the mistakes or problems that occurred as valuable insights about the specific areas requiring operational improvement. Besides, utilize the time before your next vacation to set procedures in place and test it while being away next time. Additionally, you can address it with your clients too. Not all of them know in advance what are ordinarily the things they rely on you for. The absence of such a valuable resource enlightens and reveals a possible way of searching and providing support for those needs.

Lead by example

What if you were to look at your downtime as an opportunity to learn and improve? Think of it as a unique chance to improve processes and inspire self-reliance in clients (primarily coaching clients). By properly taking care of yourself and carefully respecting the boundaries you are setting, you are leading by example. Furthermore, this is exceptionally significant in direct coaching for women in business since they need to do the same at some point and will, this way, have an example to think of. This will promote their growth, and it is an essential part of coaching for success. Now go ahead and arrange that downtime so you can come back refreshed and ready to improve!

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Being an entrepreneur and small business owner means constantly challenging yourself, especially as a woman, while searching for new avenues for success. Even though you may be struggling now, remember that owning a Start-Up Business on Gold Coast means contending with a thriving business community and competitive environment. Using the Confidence in Business approach, you can make this decision effectively while avoiding unnecessary stress and worry.

Small Business Coaching provides personalized consultation to ensure your awareness of all your available options, even when that means changing course completely after owning a small business. Before moving forward with scaling back your business at all, try a self-assessment by considering where you will be in the next six months or so. This can help determine the path you’re headed on, as well as whether potential gains are worth the risk of continuing on, for now. Typically, coaching for success can assist in developing new and exciting endeavors that may be just around the corner!

In the next six to twelve months, with the help of professional coaching for women, do you imagine being able to turn your business around? If the answer is that you don’t see a clear, direct path forward, an SME Business Coach can help guide you through a successful exit, after exhausting all your options for salvaging it. The same motivation and ingenuity that propelled you to opening your small business in the first place, can also propel you forward now! Small Business Consulting can assist you every step of the way.

Starting and growing your small business means actively finding new ways to improve your margins, understand your customers and provide them the products and services they need. Now that you’ve noticed your small business isn’t necessarily sustainable, it’s time you start thinking how to prepare for the next steps for you, your customers and most importantly, your children and families. Before you even make a decision to down-size your small business, first be sure you have exhausted all your available resources and options, especially small business help and support via business coaching for women! After all, small businesses fluctuate dramatically, and often take months or even years to fully actualize their potential. Before considering an immediate shuttering, consult with your trusted Gold Coast Business Coach regarding your business future!

Believe it or not, finding a proactive solution to your business problems, even one as dramatic as closing down completely, can actually benefit you and your family in the long-term! In fact, a temporary or permanent closure can free up your time and energy to achieve your long-term goals and aspirations. With one opportunity ending, this is a great time to learn from the successes and challenges you faced while running your start-up, lessons that can inform you both personally and professionally!

Chances are, Business Coaching has already helped you achieve many of your goals for your small business, which are experiences that last a lifetime. Closing doesn’t mean you failed, but another opportunity to face life’s challenges head-on! Even if you never saw this in your future start-up plans, you can make the best of it by processing the right strategy while utilizing direct coaching for women in business. Even though it will undoubtedly be a grueling decision to make, it can lead to freedom and empowerment with the correct approach!

 

Over my years in business and having gone through the journey myself – “$60 in the bank to a business with an annual turnover of six-figures” – I have personally learned a few things along the way. Perhaps here are my top tips.

  1. First one is to set your own expectations, don’t wait to get expectations from anybody don’t wait for any external expectations, you decide what you want to be in your own life, you have a purpose, you’re here for a reason and you can do it.
  2. The second thing is to have the right attitude and remember that businesses, good businesses and good leaders hire for attitude. You need to have the right attitude, the attitude to know that you will be able to make it that you have what it takes to overcome obstacles. You have to remember that there’s a hidden opportunity in every challenge so look for it and stay at it and go for it.
  3. The third thing, which is the most important for all females is to ask for it. Statistically females negotiate way less than men. Chances don’t come knocking on your door even if you deserve them. No matter in which business you are looking to work with you have to ask for it, you have to negotiate when there’s a new opportunity, you have to ask for it when there’s a new activity in school or at university, you have to ask for it. So, we women have to do much more of that. I always say if life doesn’t give you an offer, it doesn’t mean that you don’t negotiate.
If you want to book a discovery session in with Paulette McCormack you can book it in using this link HERE.