Giving myself permission to have a long moany analyses of what I like and dont like about running a business.
After the imposed downtime of last week’s snowmageddon its Monday, the snow is melting and life is getting back to normal. The guys are back on site and I have a big pile of work to do in from tof me and Im feeling no motivation to get started on it.
This is a recurring problem that I thought I’d look at here today.
What do I enjoy about running a business and what I feel motivated to do
- I feel so fine about doing the meeting new clients
- the designing
- submitting the designs and doing amendments
- receiving compliments when I get the design right
- improving gardens to look beautiful
- visiting the guys on site and enjoying the progress
- leasing with the cad technicians
- submitting all the invoices to the accountant
- watching how well or badly are doing financially with the online Xero accounting
- budgeting and juggling money and paying the suppliers
- looking after and supporting the staff
- making money and enough to save
What I really don’t enjoy, this is what I need to pay attention to. These are a source of stress and I feel unmotivated to do.
- writing the specification (which is now mostly done by the cad technicians)
- pricing the work
- negotiating about costs with the clients
- getting too many clients to cope with, I even forget who some are
- submitting the price and waiting to find out if it has been accepted or rejected
- dealing with client complaints about work they are not happy with and having to go back and fix things
- getting phone calls rather than emails from clients
- being short of money at times with cashflow, juggling funds, moving them around and being under pressure from suppliers to pay
- having work production slowed down due to weather
- having a long to do list that involves aspects I don’t enjoy
- sometimes I just don’t feel like working, often actually, I feel tired often and a bit bored with it
- staying legal – health and safety, insurance, paying the guys tax, not getting behind with hmrc etc.
Analyses and Solutions
- specification now being done by cad technician though needs serious attention to detail from me to make sure nothing is forgotten and not priced for. Leaving an item out can be stressful as it is hard to explain that to clients once the price has been accepted – look over specifications thoroughly and think through the job being built
- pricing the work – I try my best to ensure all costs are covered and a decent profit margin is built in. However I never know what unseen events might be discovered on site (there is always something as doing a design on paper is very different to constructing it on site), things I have neglected to account for and have to pay for myself. This is stressful. Also I have underpriced work last year resulting in a loss which increases stress of even doing the pricing in case it happens again. I must watch to for my strong tendency to want to please the client, and keep the price low. Also the fear of not getting the job can make a downward pressure on my cost. My self worth wavers at times too, and when I am feeling confident and self loving I am better able to be bolder with pricing. – Work on self love and confidence as I am through my group work, and charge high. Get e tough of a demand to not need projects and afford refusals due to high price
- when clients balk at the price, its difficult at times to explain why it cots too much as they don’t understand till they see the action on site, then they get it. Here again my tendency to please them can result in reductions, though much less so these days. – Self awareness about my need to please which is from lack of self love, sop again work on self love and be bolder as a result…the more I love myself the more I feel I deserve
- getting too many clients, especially at this time of year and getting pressure from them to do the work before summer, knowing there are only so many gardens we can do before summer. Also to overwhelms my mind trying to keep up with the progressing of each job taking them from design to the build stage. I have a tendency to say yes which doesn’t help, I don’t like saying no, and often take on unsuitable projects which are less profitable or enjoyable. – watch my tendency to say yes when my heart says no, learn to flow my heart increase self love and self confidence
- waiting for the acceptance or rejection. I don’t enjoy being rejected after putting so much work into a project then just getting the design fee which only just covers costs. So much work for nothing. –get a budget range BEFORE I do the design, insist on this
- complaints, this is time consuming and expensive. Much of it I accept as part of the job, frost can pop off a coping, for example, but I have to take guys off jobs to rectify things or pay expensive overtime to them at weekends so we dont interrupt the work. Sometimes the client complaints are not reasonable either and much as I dislike conflict it does occur when I have to debate whether it was within the job description. -pay more attention to what the guys are doing, up my quality control monitoring, use terms and conditions to make it clear to clients that additional work will cost more or work damaged due to severe weather will cost to fix
- phone calls rather than emails, I find it easier to deal with emails as I can immediately send off my standard response of our costs and how it works. I dont visit clients now unless they have had that email to ensure they have the budget that allows us to do our standard of work. – just ask on the phone for their email and send out the letter, encourage emails rather than calls on the website
- being under pressure financially, this is stressful – more self love = being paid what Im worth – keep going with developing self love and have compassion for my mistakes and learn from them
- work production slowed due to weather. I accept this largely, no choice. Winter is cold and its rainy though the year. This is just a difficult country to run an outdoor business in, end of story. -I provide a sort of support back up service and make sure the guys have got good warm clothing, canopies to work under, gloves etc. Also offering either paid annual leave days from their yearly quota or unpaid leave, not paying them for staying off despite the weather. Would set up a precedent.
- when busy I get overwhelmed. Im a simple soul and can only cope with so much! small steps. I don’t like being crazy busy, I enjoy a relaxed pace but it means things build up. Even writing a to do list stresses me as it makes me face what has to be done. – Just do as Im doing, work when I feel like it and don’t when I don’t, its okay to do minimum work if the energy isn’t present for that, its self compassion in action. I cant brow beat myself into it.
- as above, I can only work when I feel motivated to, which isn’t a lot. I do a lot on an hourly basis just maintaining my business, answering emails, forwarding invoices, dealing with the needs of the team…its quite a lot in itself without all the rest
- staying legal is an additional stress on the business and cashflow. The HMRC are thieves and they take large chunks which would otherwise could be spent more usefully, more pay for me and the guys for a start. It creates a huge pressure. As does the many different types of insurance I need to stay legal, and keeping 4 vehicles on the road, mot’s taxed, insured, repaired etc. – Just accept that its the conditions for doing business in a highly regulated country
End of Moan. I think it is really important for me to be more in touch with what brings me joy in life and do more of that. I can lose site of it and get stuck in same old same old at times. So maybe the next post will be an enquiry into what brings joy. And LOVE. Love is figuring more and more in my life, giving it and receiving it, circulating it…I believe it is who we are at our core. So love to you all, and I hope you are being mighty kind to yourselves x All comes back to love.