By Dayna Thomas, Esq.
As entrepreneurs, we usually have many people relying on us to get stuff done. Especially if you have a service-based business, your income depends on you spending time doing work for your clients.
It’s inevitable that things will pile up occasionally, especially if you’re in the growth stage when you’re starting to get more clients with the same amount of workers (i.e. just you).
This week, I experienced this. I had SO MUCH TO DO and it seemed like there just wasn’t enough time in the day. That’s when the stress starts kicking in because it seems like it’s impossible to do everything in the time frame that you’re given.
Rather than letting that stress grow and become overwhelming, let your entrepreneur spirit kick in and develop some solutions. Remember that you’re in charge. You own the business! You’re the boss! You have the ultimate flexibility so use it to your advantage!
Here are 4 things you should do when you have more to do than you can manage:
1. Stop And Rest
Sounds counterproductive, but it’s one of the best things you can do. Nothing is more important than your mental health. Stress has the ability to physically manifest and often leads to illness. The last thing you need right now is to get a migraine or to get sick.
Relax your mind and forget about what you have to do for at least an hour. Turn your phone ringer off. Close the door. Get under the covers. And rest. Set your alarm to wake up in 1-2 hours. You should feel more refreshed.
2. Shift Your Mindset
Remember that it is absolutely a blessing to have a growing clientele as a business owner. Although it seems stressful now, the opposite is even MORE stressful - which is not having enough clients. You are winning right now! You have a business that is successful. Your marketing strategies are working. You’ll be able to pay your bills. These are all a part of the entrepreneurship dream. That’s something to be happy about!
3. Reach Out To Your Clients Before They Reach Out To You
One thing that will surely add to the stress is if a client calls or emails you asking for an update on their matter. You may not even have gotten to it yet so you’re hoping they don’t even reach out. The best thing to do is to contact them first!
Clients love when you are proactive about communicating with them. Providing updates without them asking shows that you value their business and care about maintaining their trust. They just want to know that you are paying attention to their matter.
When you reach out, let them know that you’ll be sending them what they need by xx date. Give yourself a few more days to get it done. They’ll be fine with that! They’re just happy that you’re helping them.
4. Hire Help
One of the worst things you can do is to not make changes as your business is growing. You may think that you can’t afford to hire help yet, but I’ve learned that when you do get help, you make more money. You get things done faster, have happier clients, and can focus on things to bring in more clients (like marketing).
A full-time staff member may not be the answer, but you can try paying someone to help per project, or getting an intern.
The first time that I paid someone to help me with my work was the most money/profit that I had ever made in a month - even though I had the additional expense of paying the person that helped me.
Think it through and see what you can afford. But don’t delay, because before you know it, you’ll be swamped again and you’ll regret that you didn’t take the time to hire someone to help before.
If you’re a parent, hiring help may even mean hiring a nanny to come to your house and care for your child while you put in a few more evening hours. I found a great nanny on Care.com for $12/hour. Sometimes she comes from 6-9pm so that I can devote more time to my work during busy weeks.
We all have those seasons when we just have so much to do. But you’re not alone! All entrepreneurs go through that and a part of your job as the boss is to manage that work in the best way possible. Always take care of yourself first before you take care of anyone else. And then implement some changes into your business to keep up with your growth. And keep in mind what I always say: It’s better to be busy than bored.