As a one-man shop, you’re managing tickets, sending invoices, providing support, managing servers and monitoring networks — all of which can easily burn you out if you don’t take the time to care for yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.
Entrepreneurial burnout is more common than you think. Twenty-five percent of entrepreneurs have felt moderately burned out, according to a 2018 Harvard Business Review survey.
While there are many ways to avoid burnout, there are a few top ones to consider.
Self-Care Isn’t an Option
Before giving your day away to anybody looking to take time away from you, focus on yourself.
You can do this by creating a morning routine and following it daily. Don’t digest the world around you by logging onto your email account, Facebook and Instagram during this time to yourself. Ignore any text messages you may have received while you were recovering in bed from the day before. Use this time — your time — to ground yourself with whatever activity works for you, whether it be yoga, meditation, reading (check out 4 Books Every MSP Owner Should Read), running or lifting weights.
After completing your morning routine, you’re somewhat ready to tackle the day ahead of you, but if there are too many tasks to execute, you may be better off offloading some of them to someone else.
Further reading 5 Steps to One-Person MSP Success
To reduce your stress level related to your MSP marketing efforts, we created these templates for you to help you sell backup services, including a promo email, customer presentation and a leaflet:
Share Your Workload When You’re Ready
When you’re first starting a business, you want to control everything. It’s your baby. You want to put it on the right path and watch it grow. Eventually, you get to a point where help is appreciated; more than that, it’s welcomed. Determining where you need help is the first obstacle.
There are some tasks you can offload by simply automating them. For example, are you manually invoicing your customers? If so, consider accounting software with invoicing and billing features. Anything you can’t automate, determine whether you can outsource it to a professional you can trust.
Sometimes additional help is what you need to grow your business. If you can’t afford to hire someone, outsourcing maybe be your best bet. While there are business owners who shy away from outsourcing, you shouldn’t. Don’t know why? Here’s a hint: Think about the business you’re in.
Finding the right person to outsource work is challenging for any entrepreneur, but networking can help you with that. Building and maintaining a network of professionals makes things a little easier when trying to identify the right person for the right job. Start with your network and move outward.
Your network is also useful for something else: Getting referrals. Not all referrals end up working out, even after acquiring them as clients, but that’s okay: Being selective decreases burnout.
Further reading How to Get Managed Services Client Referrals
Be Selective With Clients
One of the benefits of owning your own business is the luxury of working with who you want to work with, so if there are customers in your portfolio causing you stress, fire them — it’s that simple.
What may prevent you from breaking ties with these clients is money. If losing revenue is a concern of yours, which it probably is, in the future, do a better job of building a buffer.
You can do this by spending less and saving more. A buffer enables you to make decisions based on what’s best for your business and yourself in the long term instead of money.
While losing a few bad clients isn’t going to destroy your business, keeping them slowly drains it.
When you’re a one-man shop avoiding burnout isn’t easy, but it’s possible with some hard work, especially after making yourself your number one priority.