Being a tradie (and better yet owning your own tradie business) comes with a ton of awesome perks: flexible work hours, being your own boss and working in a new place every day. But everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows. As Spiderman says “with great power comes great responsibility”, and with that responsibility comes stress.
Stress can be a good thing in small doses as it helps you be more productive. But stress has a nasty habit of piling up and making it harder to see things clearly. The more stressed you are the more likely you are to accidentally let things fall through the cracks. Between sorting out your schedules or keeping an eye on payments, there’s always the risk of stress taking over.
So how can you keep stress to a minimum? We’ve rounded up some killer tips to help you handle the stress of running a business and make things more organised.
Manage your time better
After a long day of going from job to job, it’s time to head back to the office for hours and hours of paperwork. Sound familiar?
Chasing up an invoice or drafting up a new work roster isn’t the most fun you could be having on a Friday night, but this is the reality for most tradie business owners. In fact, almost a quarter of all small businesses work more than 50 hours a week (and an extra 24 per cent are working every day of the week!). So if you’re able to do complete tasks more efficiently then you can more effectively manage your time and majorly cut down on your stress.
Plan your week out in advance and spread your workload out throughout the week. Try to set specific days for specific tasks: for example, make every Thursday the day you go through your invoices rather than trying to do as it comes.
If you need an extra helping hand, getting a job management app is a great way to improve your overall small business efficiency. It helps you divvy up tasks and stay on top of your to-do list. Just put the details of a task into your app, set a deadline, and assign it to yourself or a team member. You’ll be able to access your to-do list from anywhere at any time, and quickly add in new jobs on-the-go using your smartphone.
Don’t try to do it all
When you’re the boss, you’re used to being the jack of all trades and being hands-on. You not only want to do all the building, fixing and cleaning but you also want to make sure all the quoting, invoicing and expenses are all correct. While it might feel easier to do everything yourself, it means that there’s a lot on your plate which can lead to you being time-poor and stressed. As your business grows, you’ll need to learn when to ask for a helping hand.
Train your team to not only do their own tasks well enough that they can go unsupervised but also in duties that help lighten your load. For example, maybe you and your most senior tradies can take turns making the schedule or compiling expenses. When the team’s all trained up, write down a list of your weekly tasks, and consider which ones could be delegated. They’ll gain some extra responsibility and experience in running a business, and you’ll gain some extra breathing space to focus on other aspects of the business.
Doing it all may feel like the only way, but with a bit of planning and putting trust into your team, you can seriously cut down on the stress of running a small business while still getting ahead.
Find digital alternatives
An hour of paperwork or a few minutes of computer clicks, which would you prefer? While making the switch to an app or fancy piece of software may seem intimidating, it’s one of the best ways to take unnecessary tasks off your plate. Not only is using technology a faster way to get day-to-day tasks done but it’s also a great way to ensure those tasks are done correctly every time. No nasty typos or lost documents to get in the way!
Rather than manually recording all your jobs in an Excel spreadsheet, using job management software allows you to do all kinds of tasks, such as automatically schedule new jobs, store expenses and receipts, or send out quotes and invoices. These only take a few minutes to complete and it means all your information is in one place. No more matching employee timesheets up against customer invoices or furiously searching your glove box for forgotten expense receipts. With software on your side stress becomes a thing of the past.
Take that holiday!
Yes, we mean it. Being a tradie is all about the go, go, go and never taking the time to recoup and relax. Being your own boss also means it can be hard to find the time to stop and take a break. It can make you feel guilty and that you’re missing out on potential work and profit. But no amount of work is worth running yourself ragged over, so make sure that you make a plan to take time off (and stick to it). If you’re all stressed out and run down, you’re more likely to make mistakes and potentially harm yourself in the long run.
Set a specific time in the future to relax, one that you can’t cancel or push back to a later date. Make sure you give yourself enough notice to get your ducks in a row to make it happen. It gives you something to work toward and ultimately helps to kick stress to the curb. You’ll come back feeling refreshed, clear-headed and ready to take on the next challenge!
When it comes to being a tradie and handling the stress of running a small business, we often make the mistake that stress is just part of the job, like your toolkit or ute. But with careful planning, preparation and the right tools you can keep your stress levels at a healthy level.
All work and no play makes for one stressed our tradie. But with Geo you can save 14 hours a week on admin duty and make your work feel like play! Talk to one of our experts today to find out how Geo fits into your business.
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