Running a business in a time of 24-hour mobile communication means you are in a continuous work cycle. Constant after hours checking of emails, finishing off reports, sending texts and making phone calls while cooking, eating and spending time with the family can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Multitasking like this means your time is fragmented, leaving very little space to really tackle the big tasks and plan ahead. It takes the definition of busy to a whole new level.

The combined effect of running your business this way means you are mostly filling your bucket with little pebbles rather than the more important rocks. You can get to the end of the week without accomplishing the major tasks.

Swimming, treading water or drowning

If you are drowning or merely treading water you need to make changes to allow you to begin swimming and ensure you continually move forward.

The time for change is now

Be open and positive about change. If you are among the 20% of small businesses who worry about change then reframe and think of change as progress. It’s a much more positive approach.

Be open to failure

Some of the best lessons we learn are the result of failure. As Richard Branson said: ‘You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.’

Work on your business, not just in it

If your workload is unmanageable, taking time out to plan and prioritise may seem impossible but it is the most important change you can make. Distance will help give you perspective and clarify what changes need to be made. You might need to employ some casual staff, digitise your accounting systems, automate your ordering or delivery systems, get more administrative support, or outsource more of the management and marketing elements of your business. Reducing stress and freeing up more of your time is an investment in your personal health and the long term health of your business

Face your fears

If you have battled to grow your business to where it is today, you might be reluctant to raise finance and give your business the financial injection it needs to reach the next level. Identify what you are afraid of and work with advisers who can help you face your fears.

Find the right support

Building a successful business cannot be achieved alone. There are a range of support services and experts who are able to help you on your business journey. The Merton Business Support Services is a newly established service specifically to help local businesses achieve success. Whether you are just starting out or on the verge of a big expansion, we want to help. If you are newly established and have ambitious plans to grow, you are the sort of business we are working with. The Merton Business Support Service is funded by the London Borough of Merton and managed by the Merton Chamber of Commerce in partnership with some of London’s leading business advisers.

We are currently running subsidised training programs for business startups and we have just launched NEW £1500 subsidies for young, ambitious businesses with serious plans to expand.

Taking the guesswork out of growth

The purpose of our NEW £1500 subsidies are to take the guesswork out of your growth journey. The subsidies are for businesses that meet a set eligibility criteria,  including the willingness to match the subsidy and invest in your own growth. Part of the growth subsidy includes access to unique business modelling software developed by Sightpath (one of the Merton Business Support Service partners). The modelling software takes the guesswork out of your growth plans and replaces it with hard data. It helps you to assess the risk versus the reward. Part of this support service also includes the development of an individual growth plan tailored to your business. Interested businesses wanting more information should contact Raymond Kinsella at the Merton Chamber on 020 8408 1501 to arrange a meeting and assess your eligibility.