Starting your own company is an exciting time. Unfortunately, it is also an anxiety-filled time, a time filled with uncertainty and an extreme sense of urgency. I mean, you’re embarking on a journey with no idea where it’s going to go. But as people; we are conquerors, we live to explore, expand, and push the boundaries. And as entrepreneurs, we relish the opportunity to break out into the unknown and conquer whatever comes our way.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready, what type of conqueror treks a new world without his conquering equipment? So before you dive head first into the pool of self-employment, I’d like to share some things I learned, and how to keep up with all work you’ll be doing in the very near future.
I know what you’re thinking. DUH! Of course, you have to get started! You can’t do something you haven’t started!
I know it doesn’t seem like groundbreaking advice, but the best advice rarely is groundbreaking. Getting starting is legitimately the hardest thing to do. It’s why we hit the snooze button every morning; it’s why you haven’t started eating better, and it’s why you haven’t been to the gym in months.
Getting started is so difficult, that Greek philosophers warned people about the evils of procrastination way back in 800 bce.
Note: Did you know as much as 20% of the world are chronic procrastinators? That’s higher than the percentage of people diagnosed with depression.
It’s going to suck sometimes, but get up, get started, and you’ll be headed for success in no time flat.
This is a big one. We’d all like to think that we’ve got everything under control. I need a schedule we say, my schedule is in my head. I know that’s how I was. I can’t tell you how many times I have missed deadlines, not because I procrastinated, but because I lost track of all the stuff I had to do.
Keep to-do lists, make a schedule in your phone, get software that helps you stay on top of tasks, whatever it takes to keep yourself on schedule. There are tons of apps out there that are tailor-made with organization in mind. Your phone probably comes with one of these apps already installed.
Efficiency is Key
How efficient you are is going to determine how well you can stay on top of a busy schedule. Try not to spend time on tasks that are taking up more time than it should be. Instead, spend your time on tasks that are most important. Let somebody else handle the small stuff (more on that in a minute).
Another way to stay more efficient is to multi-task. Sure, multitasking is usually frowned upon, but now we have technology that makes multitasking easier than single-tasking.
Rely on Technology
The single best way to stay productive, proactive, and ahead of the game is to let technology do it for you. Apps like Fieldpulse allow you to stay on top of what is going on in your company, at the tip of your fingers. These types of apps let you be your own mobile office, managing everything from clients, employees, jobs, scheduling, all in one place. Technology really is something huh?
Consider getting an app that can centralize everything you need to do in one place. It’s a bonus if it’s one you can use anywhere you have a cellular connection.
To me, this is one of the harder things on the list. Not that I mind telling people what to (it’s one of the best perks of being a boss), but when you pour your heart and soul into something it can be tough to relinquish even a fraction of control to someone else. But it is necessary when you’re bogged down with work.
Delegate the smaller tasks to qualified people. Doing so not only frees you up to tend to more pertinent issues, but it also frees you up to relax a little.
Get the Right Equipment
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people lose hours of precious time, and subsequently precious dollars. All because they either didn’t have the right equipment or skimped and bought sub-par equipment. I usually see this with lawn care companies and contractors.
Listen, we all want a good deal on our equipment. But this is your business; you cannot afford to go for the discounted stuff. It’s all a tax write-off anyway, so get the right equipment and make sure you never have to lose time, or even worse, clients, just because your equipment crapped out on you.
Set Time Aside
You’re an entrepreneur; you work hard, it’s in your DNA. Hard work is commendable, but there is more to life than working hard. Give yourself time throughout the day and week to sit down and relax.
Studies have shown that people are only able to really concentrate at 20 minutes a time before they become less efficient. I’m not saying just work 20 before you take your break, but science is suggesting it. The point is, make sure you are getting the rest your body needs so you can stay productive.
The first time I broke out of the corporate chains and started my own business, I was nervous, anxious, terrified, and excited all at once; it was so refreshing. Until I got bombarded by how much work had to be done and how little time I had to do it.
How did I manage? By following the same steps, I laid out here. Hopefully, you handle it better than I did.
About the Author: This article has been written for Times of Startups by Marie Erhart. Marie is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.