Many governments consider entrepreneurship and small business startups as being key to driving economic growth, especially in terms of creating jobs and reducing unemployment. According to the Small Business Administration, there were more than 27 million small businesses operating in the United States alone during 2011, and these entities were responsible for creating between 60 and 80% of new jobs nationwide. Given the burden and pressure that rests on the shoulders of small and independent business owners, the challenge that faces them is how to take a break from their organization while ensuring that it remains prosperous.
Taking a Holiday: How to Utilize Modern Technology and Stay in Touch
It appears that the growing reliance on entrepreneurship and independent businesses is prevalent across the globe, and this is having a direct impact on the number of holidays that their owners take each year. In New Zealand for example, business owners took an average of just 13 days off last year, while a staggering 21% felt that they were struggling to achieve a successful work and life balance. Similarly, around 69% of U.K. small business owners took only 10 days or fewer.
While small business owners may fear being away from their organization however, thanks to the advancements in modern technology they can remain in remote contact with their employees from anywhere in the world. Mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and smartphone boast advanced wireless communication technology that enables business owners to stay in touch with their operation, and affords them the reassurance of being contactable in the event of an emergency. The price of using these devices abroad has also become more affordable over time, most notably when traveling in the Europe where roaming charges were capped in the summer of 2011.
Suffering from Stress? Have an Infrastructure in Place
Infrastructure is the basic organizational structure that supports a society or business, and it is integral to the successful performance of both. Governments invest huge sums of capital into developing roads, schools and communication systems for the benefit of society, and this practice is credited with improving both economic development and the overall quality of life experienced by citizens. Creating an infrastructure in a business can achieve similar results, both in terms of optimizing commercial performance and maintaining the owner's well-being as an individual.
When you consider that the annual cost of work place stress in the U.S. is estimated at over $300 billion, according to statistics released by the American Institute of Stress, the need for a solid business infrastructure becomes even more pressing. For small and independent business owners, creating a clear chain of command within their organization is a good place to start, as this helps the process of delegating responsibility and ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently. By also striving to improve communication with employees and department managers, owners can take breaks from their business without ever worrying that they are losing overall control.
Embrace Modern Business Methods: How Outsourcing Can Help Your Businesses
Outsourcing is an evolving business tool, and one that has the potential to revolutionize a small business owners operation. While IT and website development tasks are synonymous with outsourcing, it is now also being applied to jobs relating to human resources, sales and marketing, financial services and administration. In short, outsourcing is increasingly being utilized to handle the everyday requirements of a business operation, which allows those in charge to maintain an overview and define a successful commercial strategy.
A significant issue faced by independent and small business owners is the tendency to micro-manage, which forces them to become too involved with everyday operational tasks. Outsourcing these tasks not only defines ownership but also allows a business leader to take a backwards step and manage their operation more efficiently. Once tasks have been assigned and are in hand however, business owners can also look to take a well-deserved break while also empowering their employee to assume greater responsibility.
The Bottom Line
As the worlds of technology and commerce has evolved over the last decade, so too business practices have changed significantly. Given that these changes have empowered owners to stream line their operation, improve communication and work remotely, it is only an unwillingness to embrace them that can cause a business problems over time.