4 Tips to Increase Your Work and Life Balance as a Small Business Owner
Posted by Aaron S. on July 27, 2018 in Retail Focus

It is important to have a quality work-life balance. Just because you are a busy business owner doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a life outside work.


Having a work-life balance means your quality of life at work is as important to you as the quality of life you have outside work. It does not always mean the amount of time spent at each is equal. The focus is on the quality of time and being present in the moment. 


There are only so many hours in a day, so to attain this balance, you will need to be strategic and create free time away from your business. Achieving work-life balance can be a challenge, but there are some things you can do to help make it more attainable. 


Listed below are 4 things you can do to help create the time and focus you need to make work-life balance a reality:


Set boundaries and guidelines for yourself. Clearly define your work relationships and stipulate when and how you want that communication to take place. Work to reinforce these boundaries by using your own actions. For example, if you want clients who need to speak with you to call your office during business hours, don’t offer them your cell phone number, enabling them to bypass your expectation. It’s also good to set guidelines outside work. The time you spend with your family is important and needs to be protected. Scheduling uninterrupted time (no work or phone calls) with your family on a regular basis helps to ensure you set aside the time you need to focus on your personal life.  


Leverage technology to save time. Several low-cost or free apps are available that can help manage your business. These apps support an array of time-consuming tasks, including administrative tasks, project management, email marketing, and social media management. Additional apps exist that are specifically designed to help manage and balance your time. With the latest technology, communication and connectivity to your business can be done remotely, allowing you to be productive without disrupting your personal schedule. Having to travel for business has always been a significant disruption to family time, but with video conferencing and webinar technology, this has become much less necessary.


Allow yourself to delegate. This starts with hiring the right people. Surrounding yourself with hardworking, dedicated people you trust will give you the confidence needed to let go of some functions under your control. Having this comfort allows you to spend time away from work without being concerned what’s happening in your absence. Not all tasks should be delegated, so review your schedule and decide what things you can’t do or things someone else could do more efficiently and look to delegate those items. When delegating a task, it is important to include the responsibility that goes along with completing the task. This creates a sense of ownership for the employee and builds their job responsibilities while reducing a concern for you.


Outsource work when it makes sense. Focus your time on what you do best and hire someone else to handle some of the functions behind the scenes. Specifically, look for tasks that are time drainers and do not require your specific expertise. It’s true that outsourcing can save your business money, but it can also save you time and give you the freedom needed to spend more time with your family. Things like payroll, expense management, data entry, and travel scheduling can often be done more effectively by a third party. Hiring and training employees for a new or temporary project can be costly and time consuming. Outsourcing these types of projects can save you time and allow your business to try new projects faster and with limited risk. 


To achieve a work-life balance, you must first commit to making it a priority for yourself. Once you have made it a focus, you need to create and manage the free time needed to support the idea. Business owners love what they do and spend a significant amount of time supporting that business. Your success has come from years of being the one who gets things done. For those business owners, work-life balance is not straightforward, but it’s not impossible either. With some guidelines, delegation, and support, achieving this balance becomes possible. 

Aaron S. is our Retail guru
Aaron joined Acuity in 2017 as our Retail Specialist—bringing with him almost 30 years of experience in a broad range of retail. He started his career stocking shelves in the seasonal department at a local retailer. A few years later, Aaron transitioned to a gas station/convenience store, where he worked second shift while getting his degree in organizational communications from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It was during this time he made the move to the loss prevention and safety aspect of retail. Over the next 25 years, he worked in various retail segments, including video games, cosmetics/skincare, hardware/appliances, pharmacy/grocery, and clothing. Aaron held several positions during this time, including District Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Compliance Auditor, and National Manager of Loss Prevention and Operations. Outside work, Aaron likes to spend time with his wife (who has also worked in retail for over 20 years) and their twin teenage boys. They enjoy being outdoors on the water, fishing, and camping. As the Retail Specialist, Aaron’s goal is to enhance the partnership between retailers and Acuity by showing retailers that an insurance company can be a supportive resource and that Acuity truly understands their industry.

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