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6 Ways to Work Smart and Not Hard as a Business Owner

As an owner of a growing business, it is important to make sure that your productivity levels are always on top. Of course, it is every business owner’s dream to run a business that gets a lot of projects and gigs. But with more work comes a strong need to get the work done quickly and efficiently so that you will have more time to focus on other important things in your life. So how do you work smart?

 

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Most people believe that a business is successful because you put in a lot of hard work. Although this may be true, people have mistaken “busy” or being “occupied” as working hard.  The truth is that you get more work done when you work smarter and not harder.  Here are 6 ways you can achieve more by working smarter and not harder.

 

Plan everything in advance

This has been something that has helped me in my business. I plan everything! From all my activities for the day, what I wear, the content I put out on social media and on my blog to even the pictures I’ll use for the articles, several days in advance.

I make weekly, monthly and quarterly plans and goals. Planning in advance works as a guide to help you know what to do next. It saves you time and keeps you focused on getting the work done.

 

Build an efficient and trusted team

There is only so much one person can handle. That is why it is important for a business owner to have an efficient and trusted set of team members to whom he or she can delegate work. Your team members will help you do the work for you, while you gain time to work on something else. When you have a formidable team, you can rest easy knowing that everything will be done to precision and with a lot of care.

 

Get organized

I think one of the things that is a hindrance to a smooth running and efficient business is lack of organization. When you have all the information, stationery or data you will need organized, it makes working easy. You save time that would have been spent looking for something you need or being worried over not finding what you’re looking for. The workflow is swifter when your office is organized and everything you need is within your reach.

 

Time yourself

This is a pretty useful hack to help you work smarter. Although not many people liked deadlines in their 9-to-5s, having a deadline will help you be more focused on only what is important and thus, make you work smarter.

Keep a timer close by whenever you want to start working. Try to finish each project within 45 minutes. This will help you push away all distractions. As you get used to having work done within 45 minutes, you can reduce the time allocated to 30 minutes and work accordingly. This way you train yourself to work faster and more efficiently.

 

Stop being a perfectionist

There have been debates about the pros and cons of perfectionism in business, but when it comes to working smart perfectionism loses. When you want to get everything perfect the first time you end up spending a lot of time bothering about insignificant details and you either don’t get the work done or you are unable to start at all.

To work smart, your main preoccupation is to have work done. Perfection and attention to detail can come at the end. For now, you have to focus on completing each task. You can always tweak it along the way when you’re done.

 

Automate

Thanks to automation tools, you can get your work done for you with one click. So if you create your content in advance, your automation tool can help you publish your content on your blog and on social media all by itself. This is what I do when I want to schedule all my posts for the week.

 

How do you work smart? Please share your tips in the comments section below.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!

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When and How to Sack a Difficult Client

As a freelancer you’ll come across clients of all shapes, sizes, attitudes and temperaments. And if you’re just starting off, more often than not you may come across problem clients. If you are a freelancer, and you have not experienced a difficult client before, then you are still testing the waters. You become a pro, once you have come across these clients and have handled the issues appropriately, so brace yourself for impact.

Many of us are pushed into the world of self-employment or additional income, because we need to run our own business, make our own money, and follow our own path. Well, part and parcel of being your boss is to know when and how to sack a difficult client, learn we must!

I always knew I was going to run my own business. I was not cut out for the regular 9 – 5, and I couldn’t find a job that I really liked. I started seriously toying with idea of going self-employed during my prenatal days. I was pregnant with twins, with no way to afford childcare, I knew I just had to stay at home for some years, because there was no way around it. Well no other way I was comfortable with, I should add. Which led me to this point. And now, I won’t have it any other way.

 

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Although it takes time before you start to get your foot in on the type of clients who are a perfect fit for you, even the best of us have moments when we have to face the problem client. Let me assure you that you don’t have to deal with the wrong clients all your life. You can learn how to identify who’s the right client for you and who you should stay away from.
In this article, I’ll let you in on my best tips on when you should let go of your client and how you can do that in a way that is painless keeping your freelance business intact.
When is the Right Time to Sack a Client?
Before you even start your freelance business, you should have a basic idea of the type of people you’d want to serve. Although your target audience will evolve and be streamlined as time goes by, your major focus must be on attracting such people to your business.
However, when you find yourself entertaining the wrong client, the best time to fire your client is the very minute you notice they were not your ideal client. For this you need to be extra vigilant and sensitive to the warning signs.
Never underestimate your intuition or gut feeling. When you feel that you and your client are not flowing on the same frequency, you need to step back. Likewise, when you notice an inadequate behavior from your client either during the briefing or at the preliminary stages you have to draw the line.

 

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How Should You Sack Your Client?
Sacking your client is a lot more than just giving them the boot. Here are some things you should note:
1. Don’t be evasive. Be direct and honest.
It’s only natural for you to want to avoid a client you don’t like working with or be evasive in your approach. That’s a wrong move.
You have to firmly stand your ground and face your client. Be honest with your reasons for not wanting to continue working for your client.
2. Be polite.
It’s important to make sure that as you’re telling your client your reasons for not working with him or her, you remain polite at all times. Settling your differences amicably will help in keeping your integrity intact. The worst thing you can ask for is someone who will give you a bad name. It pays to be polite.
3. Be helpful as you’re letting your client go.
This is a good way of sacking your client on a good note. After telling your client you don’t want to work for them anymore advise them on the possible steps they can take.
You can even recommend your client to someone who you think will be in a better position to offer their services to your client. This way you do not leave your client hanging. They will appreciate your help and you’ll make a positive impression of your business. This way you keep the doors always open for new prospects and referrals.
Sacking a client can be difficult, but it is something most freelancers have to do every now and again. It’s not healthy to have to deal with someone you don’t enjoy working with. You should focus your time and energy on serving people who resonate with you.
As a freelancer you are your own boss. You have control over who you want to work with. And so long as you are clear on who your audience is, you will continue to have the clients who are a perfect fit for you.

 

Have you ever sacked a client before? How did it go? Do you have to deal with difficult clients regularly?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

Prince Charming Isn’t Coming

I have been reading a lot of personal finance and general business related books on my Kindle for the last month, and I have found majority of the books very informative. I am currently reading “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money” by the talented Barbara Stanny – popular motivational speaker, financial educator, former journalist, and career counsellor, and I am loving it!

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This is the second book of hers I  am reading this month. I just finished reading “Overcoming Underearning(TM): A Simple Guide to a Richer Life”, which was also an amazing read. I learnt so much from the book, and I am implementing her tips already. I can’t wait to finish this current book and find more of Barbara Stanny books to read. Her writing style is right up my street, so easy to read, she is the real deal!

As a self-employed business person, I enjoy reading finance and business related books in my leisure time to keep myself informed. You would easily catch me reading a book on my Kindle, while on a train, in a car, before I sleep, or whenever I get the chance. Reading and writing is like food and water to me. I can’t do without them.

Reading these finance books have made me pay more attention to the health of my finances, which is not where it should be, but it is a work in progress, and I am happy it is nowhere where it was some years ago. And I am sure that is the case for many of us.

The reality for many of us is leaving from pay check to pay check, a never ending credit card bill, various store card bills, and online loans. Now there is nothing wrong with any of these if you do have them, life is hard as it is already, so being judged is the last thing we need from anyone, especially strangers. But the one thing I have learnt from these finance books, is that as long as you are on top of our finances, you are a step ahead. I have learnt to stay up to date with every bill and bank statement, and I working towards increasing my income streams, and spending less.

Have you read any of Barbara Stanny books? Do you enjoy reading about finance and business?

Speaking of books, have you read my book – How to Cash In as a Blogger?

 

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If you have, please leave me a review on Amazon, if you haven’t read it, please do and leave me a review once you are done. Thanking you.

*Collaborative post.

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