Running a business is challenging at the best of times. It’s not all lunchtime meetings and evening client drinks. And when you have kids, there are even more considerations on the table. Having run my own digital marketing business for seven years, I’ve identified the things that help to make me and my business successful. Here are my top five tips:
Be clear about your vision and purpose for the business as well as your personal vision and purpose
If you have a clear goal and direction you’re going in, it’s easier to take purposeful steps to get there. If you want to have a good work life balance, to spend quality time with your kids, maybe building a billion dollar business that requires 60-70 hours of your time each week isn’t the best idea after all.
Hire staff that are better than you, and whose vision aligns with yours
One of the best ways to achieve the goals that you set out to is to share your vision with your team. This not only allows you to grow to where you want to be, it also motivates them to work towards something, and feel that their work is meaningful and purposeful. Hire staff with skills that you don’t have, trust your staff and empower them to show initiative and make decisions. This means all jobs are done properly and you free up your own time for running the business and balancing business and family life.
Establish processes and documented systems that everyone can follow
This ensures everyone in the business know their roles and responsibilities, and can perform to the best of their ability. My business is a service business, so we use a project management platform, which enables us to delegate and monitor what tasks staff are working on and what needs to be done to complete a job. This is especially useful when I go away on holiday with my daughters, as I am confident my team can get on with their jobs without needing me, and for anything they do need, it is documented for me to see. Having systems documented improves training and provides clarity around how and when jobs need to be done, in turn improving efficiency and quality of work. Organisation and communication are key to any successful business.
Know your finances
Similar to staff you hire to work in the business, working with a good accountant and bookkeeper who look after the financial side of the business is vital. A good accountant is not only someone who does your quarterly BAS statements and tax returns, but who can help you with budgeting, reporting and strategic financial advice.
Leave work behind when you’re with your family
Running a business can be consuming. But when you have a family, it is important to regularly take some time to completely switch off from the business and spend quality time with them, without distractions. On weekends I will switch off my computer and head down to the beach with my daughters, so they have my full attention. On weekdays, I get up at 5am to ensure I get a run or gym workout in before taking the girls to school and heading into the office.
The key to successfully balancing a family life and running a business, for me, is to plan well, ensure I am organised, open with my staff and business partners, and regularly take time out to be with my family.
Warren Carr is a business owner and father to two young girls. Warren started Konnect Digital, a digital marketing and strategy company, in 2011.