All too often when it comes to doing business we end up working to a schedule that really doesn't suit us. We feel a sense of duty and expectation, rather than be bold enough to rewrite the rules to suit us. The reality is that it's your business, why not make it work for you, rather than feeling stuck and caught up working for it?
Many of my clients plan their trading hours and their daily schedule to suit their lifestyle. They have thrown out the "should" book and they work to how they want their life to look. Some start work late in the afternoon, preferring to use their days to do other things, and working till later at night, undisturbed and able to get large amounts of work done.
Others have long weekends every week, and work longer days during the week to make up for the lost time. It takes courage to change the way we work, but if you are committed you can probably make it work. There is a big upside of course when it comes to working to a schedule to suit you, most significantly you get to enjoy a better quality of life.
The counter argument for many people is that their schedule has to revolve around their customers and yes, this is very relevant for some businesses, but not for all. And even if your business has to be open at certain hours, do you have to be there at those times?
A big part of this tip is about letting go of perceptions. Many business owners live in a state of terror over changing anything to do with their customers. They don't want to change the business name or the logo or the brand, or the hours the business is open, or the products or services being offered.
While I am an advocate of consistency when it comes to delivering a product or service, customers are much more open to change than most business owners think. In fact, they like it--because it shows that the business is growing and developing. If you really want to change your schedule, maybe your customers will be more accepting and understanding than you think.
If you are working like a dog and you're exhausted, lacking in enthusiasm and not really having a jolly time, do you think that your customers can't see or feel this? If you change the way you work so that it suits your lifestyle and needs better, you will be much more energetic and engaging at work, and your customers will get a far better level of service and a more enjoyable experience. You simply need to be brave enough to do it.
The first step in the process is analyzing how you actually like to work. If you aren't a morning person, then arrange your business so you don't have to be there in the morning. If you find it hard to get anything done at work because you are constantly being distracted by the demands of staff, suppliers and others, work from home one day each week and give clear instructions on who can contact you and for what. I have found I get more done in one day at home than I do for the rest of the week at work.
The bottom line here is that it's your business, make big decisions that will ultimately result in you having a better quality of life that will in turn have a very positive impact on your business. Everyone wins - the perfect result all round.