I don’t know about everyone else, but when I’m really busy with work, I get this slightly panicky feeling. It makes me breathe a little quicker and move a little faster. And, there’s something about that feeling that I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to. It’s the slight fear that I won’t be able to get everything done that makes me challenge myself to tick off my entire to-do list for that day. It’s empowering, rewarding and above all fulfilling.
But, there comes a time in any small business when the growth of your business outweighs your ability to keep on top of that feeling. When you have that little fear feeling in your gut morning, noon and sometimes at half past midnight, when you wake up in a cold sweat, because someone in your dream reminded you that you forgot to chase an invoice.
When you have WhatsApp messages from friends that are a week old, that you still need to respond to. When you’d rather be replying to emails, then soaking up the four days of sunshine that Summer will offer this year. When you’re so tired at the end of each day, that you barely make it to the 9:55pm conclusion of Love Island – it’s time to take on some help.
That’s a pretty scary feeling.
If this all sounds familiar, here’s five signs that it’s time to hire in some help:
When was the last time you did your small business bookkeeping? Do you have a pile of receipts in a Sainsbury’s bag that is getting bigger and bigger every day? If your accounting is more than four weeks behind, you’re in trouble. But, like me, this is always the last thing on my list of things to do.
When you open your WhatsApp, are there weeks of unanswered text messages in there? Do you spend half an hour at the end of every week apologising for your total lack of correspondence with your nearest and dearest? While this is likely a fleeting lapse in your attentiveness, it’s a sign you’re time poor.
Are your busy periods starting to all link up and make one giant busy period? Do you feel like the last time you had any real downtime is a distant memory? If you’ve been holding onto the idea that things will start to calm down soon, and soon just keeps getting further and further away, you need to reshuffle your time onto someone else.
Some days when I go to bed, I feel like my entire brain is tired. It’s the same feeling you get when you’ve been talking all day and feel like you can’t utter another word. I get this feeling all the time at the moment and it’s not from talking all day as my conversations with the dog are fairly one sided. It’s a sign that you’re using pretty much all the energy your body has to offer. And that, my friend, is not sustainable for too long.
When was the last time you planned? I mean really sat down and looked at the next six months and decided what you were going to do to keep your business growing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. If instead of a six month plan you’re working to a six day one like I am now, it’s time to get your priorities straight.