Setting your password as WELCOME1, a box of receipts going 5 years back and not getting nearly enough sleep. If any of these business habits sound familiar, then rest assured you are not alone.
Running a small business isn’t easy and once things are up and running it can become only too easy to form some not-so-great habits.
We asked a variety of small business owners what bad habits they need to shred out of their business and some advice they have for others.
Chaos Conquered, Gabby Williamson
New to the world of self employment, Gabby has just started her new project management business, helping other businesses with their marketing and rebranding.
Innovative brand consultant, Gabby says “I am trying to shift a number of bad habits I’ve picked up.” Some of the worst habits she has found herself doing include “working on the couch hunched over my laptop, working until 1-2am, not leaving my apartment for days whilst I work on a pitch”.
Waster.com.au, Aodhan MacCathmhaoil
Waste management expert, Aodhan is no stranger to habits he’d rather see in the (recycling) bin. His main bug bear for his business is around finding it hard to “let go of certain areas of the business”.
Like many small businesses who find themselves expanding and growing, hiring new staff and resources can be an overwhelming adjustment period. It can take time to trust your employees’ abilities when handling your business baby.
Aodhan self reflects on his trouble with trust, “as you grow you need to employ people and trust them to completely look after certain functions and work. I have found this very difficult – and I know I annoy our great staff by looking over their shoulders! This is something I need to learn not to do!”
Mother Tongue Copy + Content, Sarina Singh
Copywriting guru and creative content expert, Sarina Singh has a bad habit she’d like to kick.
It’s one that many small business owners struggle with…dealing with the S word. That’s “superannuation” for those who might have let their mind go to the worst.
Sarina confesses, “I don’t regularly pay myself super! I know I need to set it up as either a regular payment or a percentage of earnings to take the thinking out of it. And it’s on my to do list. But it’s not an urgent need so something else always takes priority (especially as it takes a bit of homework on my part to make sure I’m doing it right and have picked the right fund).”
Sarina is not the only one who struggles with the “S” word, luckily getting help with your super has never been easier. Check out the ATO’s free service, the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House(SBSCH), which enables you to pay all your contributions in a single electronic payment, the SBSCH will then distribute it into each employee’s super fund.
It’s important to remember as a small business owner that you are not alone. There are many resources and contacts available both online and in person that can help give advice and keep you on track. Here are a few of our favourites from mental health organisation Reach Out.
7 Steps to Shredding that Habit for Good
Reach Out has some gems of wisdom that all of us can adopt to break a bad habit for the long haul. Their 7 steps to success, include:
- Practise positive reinforcement
- Put your reasons for change in writing
- Ask yourself the hard questions to identify patterns
- Develop a long term plan for how you want incrementally shift a bad practise
- Replace the behaviour with a healthier activity
- Find a support network to keep you accountable
- Don’t punish yourself for slip ups, just keep on keepin’ on and get back on that wagon
One habit every business owner should break is being underinsured, i.e. not having the right level of cover for your business based on your profession, location and number of employees.
Underinsurance is a bad habit among Australian businesses, with the Insurance Council of Australia* finding that almost 20% of small businesses aren’t insured for the amount their assets were worth and 13% don’t have any insurance at all.
If you would like to find out more about your business insurance options and avoid adding underinsurance to your bad habits, get in touch with the BizCover team, Australia’s Small Business Insurance Specialists.
*Statistics sourced from the ICA, Non- Insurance in the Small to Medium Sized Sector Report, 2015