Why My First Business Took Over My Life and How You Can Avoid Overwhelm And Business Burnout
By Kristen Tammaro-Sparks
“I can’t hire anyone because they won’t do as good a job as I will.” I uttered those words at lunch with a friend when she asked me how my business was doing. I was in a cloud of hopeless frustration and ready to pull out my hair. Orders were coming in daily, I couldn’t produce, label and ship fast enough. I closed the door to that bath and body business 8 months after that lunch date.
I was suffering from superhero syndrome as Chris Ducker
explains. I have since learned that you don’t have to do everything in your business to be successful. In fact, if you do, you will burn out quickly, be overwhelmed, and live a life of stress. I know it’s not easy to change or to let go of certain aspects of your business, but if you are someone who must do it all, but aren’t seeing positive results, then you need help! Here are 3 strategies that currently prevent overwhelm and burnout in my two businesses and will do the same for you.
#1 Hire an Assistant
Every successful entrepreneur hires someone to help them with their tasks. If everything falls on your shoulders you don’t have anything left to give to yourself or your family. There is simply too much to do in a small business for you to do it all. When you find yourself at a point where you are spending more time answering phone calls, emails, or doing other business tasks than you do with your family, it’s time to take action. Find a local
or virtual assistant
for just 2-5 hours a week and it will make a HUGE transformational difference in your business. Seriously you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
I initially hired an office manager to enter expense receipts, create new client charts, and send out holiday cards. The next task I outsourced was phone calls and let me say that was very, very difficult for me to let go of. I thought my personal phone skills were so dead on that no one else could duplicate it like I did (Umm, sound familiar to the first sentence of this article!). But what I found is I was losing out on business because I couldn’t get back to them fast enough. Returning a phone call within 24 hours just isn’t fast enough when your competition is two doors down and can accommodate walk-in service. Outsourcing phone calls was the best decision I ever made for my business and come to find out she was better at it than me! My office manager and I created three scripts to use for booking new clients and general questions about my services…then we practiced for 4 hours! We are so efficient now but don’t be afraid to put the work in at the beginning. The first line of contact (the outside of your office, receptionist, website) is what new clients see. Make sure you are ready to make that great first impression; this is how you turn first time clients into longtime clients.
#2 Create a How-to Manual for Your Business
When I hired my second office manager, this was the first thing we did together. Anytime there was a new way of doing the same procedure (returning phone calls, entering gift certificate sales, booking new clients) we put it in the manual. If we hire more people, there is a how-to guide that will direct the new team member in the right direction. It’s foolish to think that you need to keep teaching the same process over and over again. We use Google docs to create and share our manual. It’s easily accessible, shareable, and free!
If you have questions about how to implement a manual into your business please ask me on my Facebook
page, I would love to help you!
#3 Automate as Much as Possible But Start With These Two First
Online booking should be your first step. This helps attract new clients because it’s an instant answer. New clients that have no clue who you are, are looking online for your biz and it only takes a few second for them to change their mind. Grab their business by putting a “book now” button on the top right hand side of your website, at the end of every description of your services/treatments page. I love online booking because an email is automatically sent out to remind my client of their appointment and with most online booking systems a testimonial email will be sent after their appointment asking how the experience was. All this is automated and is growing your business.Email marketing will duplicate your efforts in automating your business; but there is a deep reason for using email as your main point of contact with clients and that is teaching your clients how your business runs. I teach this method a lot in my inner circle
coaching program because it helps you build the BIG picture of your business. When clients become use to seeing your emails (for scheduling or marketing purposes) they become accustom to checking that line of communication more often. WARNING * WARNING * WARNING: If you client is someone that doesn’t check email often it will become harder to sell them your latest special or offer. I am not saying it’s impossible but it is harder. Email is cheaper than direct sales marketing (postcards, flyers) and a better ROI (Return On Investment). Direct sales marketing still works but for the investment, email is the most cost effective way when you have pennies to spend.
I write about many business tips that work, bring you more clients, organize the back end of your office and help grow your business; but these three tips broke me out of failure and put me in the seat of calling myself a successful business owner. Always evolve, seek answers, build your business boundaries, be the change in the world you seek. You got this! Being a small business owner is a learning experience and it keeps getting sweeter with time. In order to enjoy the growth of your business, you need to let go when it’s time to let go and hold on when you know in your heart you were meant for this. If you are feeling overwhelmed by what needs to get done, put these three steps into action and you’ll be seeing success (without the stress) and happiness in no time!
- Kristen Tammaro-Sparks
P.S.- I know how frustrating success can feel when your not prepared for it. This is why many business owners play it small because they don’t treat their current growing business as if it was already successful. I am here to support you and I believe you can do it!
P.S.S. – I am thinking about putting together a master list of tasks my office manager does and what tools we use to do them. Are you interested in that? Please just let me know in the comments, if there is enough interest I’ll get on that ASAP!
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