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30 May 2019
How to Get More Freedom as a Business Owner
Why did YOU start your business in the first place? This is a useful question to ask yourself. When the day-to-day can be a bit overwhelming, it makes it easy to forget all the reasons you had for starting a business.
The business owners I speak to have lots of reasons why they started their business, but there’s one that’s really common: freedom. Specifically, it’s usually a desire for more time or at least more flexibility over how they spend their time.
That said, isn’t it surprising how most business owners actually experience less freedom and flexibility?
Think about it. Most business owners I speak to recoil at the idea of taking any time away from their business. They all say they’d like a holiday, but it’s just not practical. An employee can just book time off.
I urge you to think about this – call it a bit of tough love if you like. The summer holidays are coming up and maybe you’re worrying about who’s going to take care of your kids while you work. You’re the business owner! Why aren’t you planning to take some time off?
Don’t kid yourself. This is a huge deal.
If you can’t take as much time off, whenever you want, then you don’t have a business; you have a tough job with terrible benefits.
You probably feel indispensable, like the business would fall apart without you. There’s probably some part of that which is true, but that doesn’t make it right.
The most common thing people struggle to get away from is the phone. They might take some time away, but if they’re still answering the phone that’s not really a break, is it?
And let's be honest, your children, your partner, your friends and family, won't be pleased with half your attention. It’s never just this one phone call you have to answer, is it? Circling back, if you were an employee you wouldn’t be expected to answer the phone during your holiday would you?
That phone call is essential to your business. From new enquiries (and sales) to sorting issues for existing customers, your business needs to be available. That doesn’t mean you need to be available.
In fact, if your business has a phone, you’re shooting yourself in the foot answering it yourself. Here are three quick reasons why:
You're too accessible
Your time - and thus your business - ends up being monopolised by someone else's timescale and agenda.
You'll miss calls
Voicemail isn’t good enough. If you’re the only person manning your phone, you will miss calls and that will cost you customers.
You'll get less done
Time is your most valuable asset. It's the only thing you can't make more of, and interruptions, like a phone call, drain more time than you think.
You MUST be able to switch off your phone for your business to be a success.
Ask yourself if the successful business owners you look up to, like Richard Branson, answer their phone on holiday. No, of course not. The delegate and they only get contacted under certain circumstances.
Before you assume you need to be as rich as them to get that setup in your business, let me point out that a call handling service, like the one The Office Genie provides, costs less than a fancy coffee. You can get more sales, save time, and take holiday for less than the price of a fancy coffee.
Think about that the next time your phone rings during dinner or any other inconvenient time.
Give us a call on 01604 532 103 or drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more.
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