The good news is yes. Just because weekend nights are the busiest of the week, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on having a life. And in fact, achieving that ideal balance is better for your business long-term. Sure, you may never have as many free hours as your friends who work in a 9-5 industry. But there are more options available than ever before to take some of the stress off your shoulders. You can claw back some family-time and social life. But the changes start with you and how you run your business.
1. EMBRACE NEW TECHNOLOGY
Instead of being tied to your café to get the information you need to keep an eye on sales, problems, security and more – go online. Nearly all POS and surveillance systems are cloud-hosted and come with easy-to-use apps. So if there’s a problem, you can get automated alerts, check in on your smartphone or iPad, and make a real-time decision about how critical the issue is, and if your staff can manage it without you. Investing in more advanced remote-control technology is a great way to remove the need for your physical attendance at your venue, for very little cost.
2. IMPLEMENT BETTER SYSTEMS
The better run your business is, the easier it is to attract top staff. And that means systemising your everyday operations, so they run smoothly, efficiently and effortlessly – so your staff don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Set up all the checklists, rosters and order forms you need on iPads or tablets (forget paper!) to minimise handwritten input and room for errors. With all of your data saved to the cloud, you can check at any time to make sure everything is under control, and has been done, on time and as expected – no matter where you are. Sleep in Saturday morning, or enjoy a beach BBQ with friends and family on Sunday night. And if you have to, take a peek at your smartphone. Just the one, mind you.
3. LET GO
It’s time to make some hard decisions. Exactly why are you hanging on to the petty tasks that chew up too much of your valuable time without realising a return on investment? Are you going to make more money by doing all your own accountancy and admin, or by putting your energy into growing your business? Rather than hanging on to everything, why not invest some time in finding a great virtual assistant? With most of the business software you need to run a modern café, bar or restaurant now available online, a virtual assistant or flexi-time worker can work for you from anywhere. And if you cross some time zones, they can have everything ready for your review in the morning. Like hiring anyone, make sure you get references and put in place the same sensible security controls you would if employing someone in-house.
4. INVEST IN THE BEST
Once you’ve implemented better systems, installed remote-control technology and outsourced the admin tasks, the next move is to hire people who want to do what you don’t. And that’s work every weekend! For that, you need to pay people what they are worth, to do what they excel at and are happy doing.
Yes, you need to have a healthy business to run a ‘weekend team’. But you’ve set up remote and online systems for just that purpose. You will always run a more profitable business by working on it, not in it. We know it’s hard to let go, but once you stop treating yourself as an employee and take ownership of being an entrepreneur, you will not only ‘get a life’, but build a more profitable future.