Saying "No" May Actually Being Building Success

Juggling many responsibilities often takes the focus of small business leaders away from growing their companies.
According to Erin Shea, North America Manager at Vistaprint, her company recently surveyed 400 SBOs to understand what is keeping them busy and how this impacts their business and personal lives.

  • Seventy-two percent (72%) of those surveyed say administrative tasks are keeping them the busiest, followed by customer service (70%) and project management (62%)
  • Nearly 70% are so busy at work that they skip meals
  • The majority (63%) are spending less than five hours a week on marketing their business

Adds Shea, "people normally start businesses to make a career out of doing something they love, not to be bogged down by routine tasks. While administrative tasks need to be done, our survey shows that they are most likely to keep small business owners busy, eating into their day and leaving them with less time to work on rather than in their businesses. Small business owners must also find time to focus on strategy, product development and marketing, all of which are vital for growing their businesses."
Shea said Vistaprint asked small business leaders to offer a few tips for feeling less busy and more in control at work:

Take a break: Just as you schedule meetings, it is important to plan time to decompress from work activities. Even if it is just a few minutes every day, time away from work can help you clear your mind and be more productive. Whether stretching your legs, meeting up with a friend for lunch or taking a weekend trip, it is important to switch your focus away from work occasionally.
Set priorities: Creating a priority list of what is most beneficial to your business is a great way to plan your day. Some tasks that take a lot of your time might not have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Don’t be afraid to outsource: When small business owners use outside sources to save time, our research reveals that they are much more likely to seek help for their social media, sales and marketing, than for admin or project management-related tasks. You can also automate these more routine tasks, for example, by leveraging technology to streamline project management and exploring how virtual administrative support can free up more time. This could give you the headspace to focus on the more strategic and creative areas of running a business.
Saying no or I need help is ok! For many small business leaderss, saying yes is very natural but not always the answer that’s in their best interest. When saying yes to a time-consuming activity, you might be pushing another priority off your list. Being mindful of this can help you think again before committing to something. 

View more survey results along with the full infographic.