As business owners, we’re busy, busy people. We often have very FEW resources and not enough time in the day to get everything done. VistaPrint conducted a survey of 400 small business owners to find out what they need to become more productive in their daily lives. The answers they were given were eye-opening.
How to find relief
VistaPrint found that small business owners are not just busy, they are incredibly busy. And, many of those busy small business owners are looking for ways to find some relief. Ramon Ray and VistaPrint shared their ideas for helping small business owners reduce the overwhelming need to be busy. Ray’s suggestions included:
- Learn to say no – you can’t do everything
- Use tech tools to help you organize your day
- Delegate to others so you can manage people and not do everything
And, VistaPrint suggested that small businesses owners look for more ways to increase their downtime. They also suggest learning to better prioritize and learn to stop saying yes to every opportunity that comes their way. All too often, mundane tasks get in the way of the important tasks that can be delegated. When small business owners are able to focus on tasks that improve their financial standings, they often feel less “busy” because they feel more successful instead.
What’s keeping us busy?
VistaPrint’s survey revealed the reasons that small business owners are overwhelmed. Almost three-fourths of the respondents shared that basic administrative tasks take the majority of their time. They are also bogged down with customer service and project management tasks. These activities keep them so busy that most of them skip meals while at work. Unfortunately, these tasks are preventing small business owners from marketing their business and their mundane administrative tasks also keep them from their loved ones and actually create stress in their personal relationships.
What keeps small business owners going?
Small business owners continue to do tasks that keep them feeling this busy, rather than successful. In the VistaPrint survey, small business owners kept busy because they want their businesses to make money. They also feel that they are not productive if they are not busy. And, most have an exhaustive list of things to do. It is as if busyness is a status symbol for small business owners, as most recognize that they have more to do than they have time to do it in. Time management should be a priority for small business owners, but many neglect this skill.
VistaPrint found that the majority of small businesses are not looking to outside resources to help them with mundane tasks that take up a significant amount of time. Too many small business owners are involved in all aspects of their businesses when they should be looking for ways to use technology, automation, and other support services to save time on administrative tasks.
Personal lives are suffering
Because small business owners are so busy taking care of business, they neglect themselves and their loved ones. Nearly 60% of business owners are suffering from stress, which affects their physical wellness. Almost half of the respondents claimed that their work affects their sleep and about one-third do not exercise often.
Are you using your time wisely?
The most interesting revelation in the VistaPrint survey was the nearly all of the respondents actually enjoy being busy, despite the busyness interfering with the success of their business and the enjoyment in their personal lives. Small business owners should take stock of the way they use their time to analyze whether they are using their limited time in productive ways instead of with administrative duties that are interfering with marketing and revenue-driving tasks.