I don’t know about you, but when I think about being self-employed, the first thing I think about is how nice it would be to make my own hours. I would imagine I would kiss that 9 to 5 goodbye and sleep in just a little longer. After all, as long as I get the work done, what’s the problem? This may be true, but there are some rules.
Designing the ideal work week means establishing appropriate business hours for your business as well as your customer. For example, a Realtor who is unwilling to meet clients anytime before 3 pm and absolutely not on the weekends is likely on a fast track to immediate failure. On the other hand, these hours may work in another industry.
Determine what the best hours are for your clientele, and try to manage that around your desired schedule. You may need to leave certain hours flexible. Though you my prefer not to work certain hours, your business may end up depending upon them.
The entrepreneurial spirit often equates to the same type of individual – the hard worker, willing to, or often feeling obligated to, spend all of her time working. The mentality that literally all of your time is “business time” will burn even the most motivated business owners out. Additionally, your personal life could be in jeopardy. You do not want to be that person! Design your schedule to have solid business hours during a specific time, flexible “as needed” hours at another, and most importantly, a block of time set aside for you as an individual, outside of your business.
At the other end of the spectrum, you might like to set your business hours to be 7 hours a day, Monday through Friday; however, you only have enough business to fill about 4 hours. The successful entrepreneur should optimize those 3 free hours a day to create more business. That old mentality – when you worked for that big corporation – of, “Well, I am done with my work ahead of time; I might as well goof off instead of getting ahead,” will be the certain death of your business. Wasted hours mean you’re wasting the opportunity for increasing the money in your pocket.
When designing your ideal workweek as a business owner, be reasonable about your boundaries while remaining flexible enough to please your clientele. This strategy can do more for your business than you may imagine. Leaving your Saturdays available to make phone calls or for appointments will appeal to prospective customers and increase your productivity. You’ll earn clients that those other big companies won’t.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
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