Compucare Blog

According to a recent study by Sage, 45% of business owners work 40-60 hours a week while 16% work more than 60 hours per week. 

To some extent, having a small business is like having a baby. You give birth to it (sometimes, adopt). You protect it and watch it grow. You feel good when it’s doing good and distraught when it’s not. It’s easy to understand why many business owners struggle to maintain a proper work-life balance.

Work Life Balance

The love for what you do and the passion you have for your company may be one of the reasons why you decided to have one in the first place. Having said that, a recent report, by the Telegraph’s research team and Omnicom Media Group agency, included a survey which gives surprising insights into the motivations of the SME founder community. It reveals that the top reason given for launching a company was to have more control over one’s work-life balance. Many SME owners fail to accomplish the latter, hence put themselves on the path to losing that first love they once had for their businesses – not to mention many other health-related threats connected to overwork.

Technology has made it easy to work remotely which, in theory, could improve our work-life balance. On the other hand, however, the same technology made it easier than ever to work from anywhere, at any time, sometimes all the time. Why do business owners find it so difficult to disconnect?

There’s more than one answer to the question above, but we believe it’s a choice. If you’re out of balance and are fed-up enough to change it, you need to be deliberate about it.  Does overwork affect your relationships with family and friends, make you tired and stressed out most of the time? What are you going to do?

Thomas Jefferson said “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Agreed, hard work is good, but there’s a reason why it’s called HARD work. It’s not easy. Sometimes, it is necessary to put in the extra hours, but then those hours need to be compensated by an adequate rest. We know this may be easier said than done, but the choice is yours. If you’d like more information on how to have a better work life balance please read this insightful report on Work life balance by Sage.

In summary, “Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” Betsy Jacobson

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Compucare is an IT Support Provider passionate about vital Business and Charity related matters.

Tips for small & medium sized enterprises.

Business & Money

Image Post Business Money

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” Robert Kiyosaki

 Money problems are reported to be the biggest challenge for SMEs.

Oftentimes, however, small and medium sized businesses suffer not because they’re unable to make money. Money management is where the problem lies.

This post is not so much about how to get revenue. On this note, we’ll quote Jim Rohn who said: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” For the purpose of this article, let’s assume that we’ve got that covered. Great, so what’s next?

Do your numbers look good on the balance sheet? They do? Nice! What about those easily accessible cash reserves though? Are they sufficient? If not, consider direct and indirect effects of not having enough cash:

  • Inability to pay your staff
  •  Inability to maintain standard business operations
  •   Bad business decisions made under pressure e.g. accepting bad clients (non-payers, etc.)

Those are just a few… What can a business owner do to not be found in a cash-low spot?

Get paid in full and on time

Cash today is much better than cash tomorrow. Would you agree?

  • Offer incentives & encourage clients to pay sooner rather than later.
  • Don’t ignore late payments – call or send friendly, but direct e-mail reminders.
  • Manage your clients’ credit schemes – some wait too long allowing clients to get into too much debt which puts pressure on the business.
  • Collect deposits or get paid upfront before ordering stock or doing the work, especially if it’s a new client. You should not be left without if they change their mind.

Manage your own Credit and debt

We’ve seen too many business owners ignoring debt collectors banging on their doors.

Ignoring the bailiffs won’t send them away

One must find a way to pay…

Don’t spend an assumed future income either. What if the money you’ve already spent (in your head) isn’t paid on time, or at all? Don’t spend the money you don’t have just YET. Wait until you physically have it, and then spend if it’s helpful…, which takes us to…

Careless & extravagant spending

“If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” Warren Buffet

Question whether you really need to drive this amazing, but expensive company car. Yes, it looks good and may impress prospects. However, don’t buy unnecessary stuff until you can truly afford it, at least. Live below your means – not to the limits. Protect the profit you make – keep it in cash reserves, reinvest in your business or in yourself first (more about investing later). Have a vision for your money because that car company trying to lure you in certainly does!

Finally… Know the state of your finances

Take responsibility for your financial future.

Do you have a bookkeeper? Fantastic! Yet, don’t rely on your accountant only. Keep an eye on things. Your money or lack thereof is your responsibility.

These are simple, but powerful tips which help organisations remain financially free. This article is not exhaustive, and there’s so much left to be said about Business & Money, hence there will be part 3 in which we’ll continue discussing just that.

In the meantime, we hope this post is helpful. Please leave a comment and let us know if it is.

Alternatively, click here to read part 1 “Business & People” or Subscribe via E-mail to receive more valuable content in the future.

Tips for small & medium sized enterprises.

Business & People

Anyone can start a company, but what does it take to build one that stands the test of time? Whether you’re new to business or not, you might have pondered on how to make it work.

Compucare Systems Ltd. have been providing business IT support for over 21 years. We hope you find what we’ve learned during this time helpful. This two-part, non-exhaustive article focuses on two major issues i.e. Business Meeting Photo Pixabaypeople and money. 

It is said that businesses which focus on people more than they focus on anything else are the ones that thrive, so who are the people that make or break your business???

Business Partnerships

 You can’t do a good business with a bad person. Find the right people to work with and you can’t go wrong.” – Richard Branson

It’s impossible to work together unless you agree. Choose the right people with the right skillsets or assets, and then let them do what they do best. Communicate, but don’t interfere. Set common goals, but respect each other’s individual ways of getting there. Remember the bottom line i.e. what’s best for the client and the business. This applies to direct business partners and to all other partnerships a company needs to succeed.

 The Team

 “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” Steve Jobs

 Employ the right people (experts with good attitudes). Listen and talk to your team. Employees are more likely to do well when they feel understood and valued. Dissatisfied team members frustrate their clients and colleagues. Content individuals are more productive and much easier to deal with. Communication is key. Let the team know what’s expected of them. Setting expectations clearly decreases the need for micromanagement. Don’t lower your standards, but be fair. Don’t be afraid to let go of relationships that don’t work and won’t work, but do what you can to help your staff succeed.

 Customers

 “We are not in the coffee business serving people, we are in the people business serving coffee.” Howard Schultz (Starbucks’ CEO) 

 Nope, we don’t sell coffee. We are an IT Service Provider. In principle, however, we completely agree with Howard! Listen to your clients (don’t assume) – they are the best feedback source you can ever hope for. Small business owners often have the privilege of dealing with clients directly. Why not take advantage of it? Keep listening, and you will learn how to serve them better – there’s always a better way.

Do your clients like you? In today’s competitive market, this really could make or break a business. It pays to be nice to people and it’s best to employ people who are nice to people. Having said that, the most successful companies make an effort to take clients’ fondness to the next level.

“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” Zig Ziglar

 Be honest, don’t exaggerate your offerings

  • Deliver on your promises in a timely manner
  • Make amendments if for whatever reason you can’t

Business is about building relationships – gaining and keeping trust. We can’t please everyone, but we can try (do our part). It doesn’t matter what we sell and to whom. We sell to people and with people, so let’s focus on people first…

If you find this article helpful please look out for part 2 subtitled: “Business & Money”. To receive more valuable content for SMEs & Charities please subscribe via e-mail RIGHT HERE.