How to expand your micro business and keep your sanity intact


Young man so angry that he wants to pull his hair outRunning a business is hard work, whatever size you’re at. Even more so if you’re a burgeoning one, eyeing or going through expansion.

Speak to many an entrepreneur and they’ll likely tell you that in the growth stage you’ll be working in some shape or form 24/7.  They’ve got a point. As that god awful Wall Street sequel alludes to ‘Money never sleeps’.

The fact is that you need to though. Rest and time spent away from your business can help you see things from a different perspective, whilst simultaneously renewing your enthusiasm.

Of course, work-life balance will be heavily in favour of work during expansion but there are steps you can take to limit your workload, thus freeing up a little free time to give your mind and stress levels a rest.Here are a few tips that might help you address the work-life balance conundrum…

1.  Create realistic expectations

This can be hard, what with some of the overzealous clients and investors out there, so you’ll need to be forceful and firm to establish realistic goals and objectives.

If these are insurmountable they can take you and your business to breaking point so it’s an imperative to establish goals and targets that you think are manageable. If you’re a micro business with employees consult them and see what they think is realistic.

If you’re a solopreneur you’ll probably have a good idea about what’s achievable in your own mind, nonetheless, try to seek out impartial advice where you can.

2.  Audit your efficiency

I alluded to this briefly in the managing expansion article. It really is vital to ensure you’re working efficiently in every aspect of your business, not just in regards to easing the expansion process, but also in terms of alleviating your stress.

Really, how you increase efficiency will depend upon the nature of your business so just how you audit this will differ. That said, with technology so omnipresent, you’re going to want to ensure you’re using the best and most efficient software, at the very least. Consider using cloud-based software that’ll allow you to work wherever, whenever.

3.  Embrace freelancers

Both figuratively and literally if you can. A good hug does everyone the world of good.

Seriously though, freelancers can provide a useful asset in reducing your workload across all aspects of your business. Sites like People Per Hour have an abundance of freelancers that can provide a helping hand in a number of areas, such as marketing, admin and even sales. All for quite reasonable hourly rates, too.

If everything’s getting a little too much and you’re seeking a break or merely a helping hand, than they’re well worth calling upon.

4.  Use project management software

No matter what stage your business is in you’re going to have a myriad of tasks to do on a daily basis. Keeping track and keeping on top of them all can prove a logistical headache, one which if you don’t attempt to confront, can have dire repercussions on your work-life balance.

Thankfully there’s a wealth of software on the market that makes running all your varying projects a tad simpler. Basecamp and Trello are amongst the market leaders, both offering online environments where you can plan, keep track and collaborate on projects. Whilst they may not prove the definitive antidote to your organisational woes, they can certainly help.

As yesterday’s article reflected, expanding your micro business is likely to have considerable implications on your work-life balance, for a small amount of time at least. Sacrifices will likely be made in your personal life but if you’re doing what you love, then at least those sacrifices will be offset in that regard.

All that said, rest is important. Where possible, try to put some time aside where you can and focus time on relaxing, rather than stressing. Your microbusiness expansion  is futile if it’s done at the expense of your personal relationships or worse still, your health.

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How do you keep sane? What tips can you share about growing without losing the plot? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.