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Steps to stop your business taking over your life

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Small and medium-sized business owners can often find themselves working harder and for longer hours than when they were the employee of someone else, making the “be your own boss” dream less than ideal, but there is a way you can stop your business taking over your life.

The answer to maintaining a healthy work/life balance is by outsourcing. This is when a business hires another company or freelancer to perform certain essential business tasks, thereby freeing themselves up to focus on what is really important – growing the business.

Small and medium-sized business owners need to realise that they cannot do everything, or at least cannot do everything well. For example, you may not be a natural with computers or design, which may make you less than adept at designing your company website. This is the perfect task to outsource to another, such as a freelance web designer who has the expertise to produce a high quality and user-friendly website.

Once you have your website framework, you can then hire a copywriter to write the text in a way that speaks directly to your users and which can include search engine optimisation (SEO) keywords and strategies. Such strategies are changing all the time and hiring a professional will mean that you keep up with SEO and other marketing trends. Marketing needs to be performed constantly, but you may find that it is a catch-22 situation, with you spending time on marketing your business but struggling to cope with the jobs you already have. Hiring a marketer or marketing agency will ensure that your business is being promoted without you having to stop selling.

Your online presence does not stop with your website. You will probably need to be active on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but maintaining these needs attention on a daily basis, which you may find difficult to accomplish alone. Hire a social media marketer to help you connect with your customers.

Simple administration eats up a lot of company time and it can be a real boon to outsource some of these tasks, such as invoicing or payroll. An umbrella company will keep up to date with changes in the financial and banking sector so that you are never in danger of breaching government regulations or falling behind with paying your staff.

There are other administrative tasks that, while not being difficult to perform, can still take up your time and prevent you making sales. Such tasks include those normally carried out by a secretary, including the typing of letters and other correspondence and answering the telephone. If you do not want the expense of hiring a fulltime secretary who may be under-utilised, you can outsource these tasks and only pay for the time you need.

It is highly unlikely that you possess all the skills necessary to run a successful business, so maximise your potential by outsourcing those tasks that will leave you free to focus on your business strengths.