Entrepreneurship is an exciting journey! But not an easy one…
As a business owner, you may feel like you have to do everything yourself. You may think that your business depends on your constant presence and involvement. But this is stressful and exhausting. Moreover, it lowers your business value as investors and buyers are looking for owner-independent businesses.
Owner independent businesses are businesses that can run without the owner, or at least with minimal owner involvement. Achieving owner-independence is the key to increasing the value of your business and achieving work-life balance.
But how can you build a business that can run without you, or with less of you? How can you free up your time and energy to focus on the strategic growth and innovation of your business? How can you have more flexibility and freedom to pursue your passions, hobbies, and interests, without sacrificing your business results?
The Work-Life Balance Tool
The solution is the Work-Life Balance Tool, a simple but effective framework that helps you manage your time and activities as an owner-manager. The Work-Life Balance Tool is not about working less. It is about making smarter choices about what you want to work on.
The Work-Life Balance Tool is based on four choices that you can make about any time-consuming activity in your business: eliminate, automate, delegate, or innovate.
Let's explore each one in more detail.
The first choice is to eliminate any activity that is not essential or valuable for your business. This means getting rid of any waste, clutter, or distraction that consumes your time and energy. For example, you can eliminate unnecessary meetings, reports, emails, or tasks that do not contribute to your business goals.
Learn more about how to eliminate low value tasks successfully.
The second choice is to automate any activity that can be done by a system or a software. This means using technology to streamline and simplify your processes and workflows. For example, you can automate your invoicing, accounting, marketing, or customer service using online tools and platforms. A word of caution here: make sure your business doesn’t lose the personal touch that customers want and need.
Learn more about how automation can revolutionize your business.
The third choice is to delegate any activity that can be done by someone else. This means outsourcing or hiring people who can perform the tasks better, faster, or cheaper than you. For example, you can delegate your administrative, legal, or technical work to freelancers, contractors, or employees.
Learn more about why delegation feels difficult and how you can do it effectively.
The fourth choice is to innovate any activity that can be improved or transformed. This means finding new ways to create value and solve problems for your customers and stakeholders. For example, you can innovate your products, services, or business models using design thinking, lean startup, or agile methods.
Learn more about how innovation can help you grow your business.
The Work-Life Balance Tool is not a one-time exercise. It is a continuous process of evaluating and optimizing your activities as an owner-manager.
You can use this tool as a checklist or a dashboard to monitor and improve your performance and productivity. You can also use it as a tool for communication and collaboration with your team and partners.
By applying these four choices to your time-consuming activities, you can create an owner-independent business that runs smoothly and efficiently without your constant supervision. But it is not about sacrificing your business success for your personal happiness. It is about aligning them in a way that benefits both.
To help you assess your business, we have prepared a Work-Life Balance Worksheet. Download here.