Writing a business plan at the start of each year is highly advisable. The simple act of putting your ambitions for the 12 months ahead in black and white adds considerably to the extent to which they become embedded in your thinking.
What’s Wellbeing got to do with business?
Such a plan also acts as a useful reference point as you check it regularly while the weeks and months roll by. It’s hugely encouraging to be aware when you pass a particular target, and valuable when you are reminded how far there is to go to reach others.
However, a business plan should include more than visions, values, goals and specific financial milestones to be attained in the coming year.
Few business owners who had to navigate the choppy commercial waters of 2020 will ever forget the experience.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the measures taken to combat its spread, ensured that the year was exceptionally challenging.
It is only fair to point out that when you run a business, every single year represents an examination of your agility, resilience and self-esteem, as well as the viability of your organisation.
Rarely, though, have entrepreneurs been subjected to such a stiff set of questions as in 2020. The difficult economic circumstances, and the heroic efforts to combat them, meant that the passing months took a serious toll on the mental wellbeing of UK business owners.
This phenomenon highlighted, among many other things, the advisability of including wellbeing considerations among your business planning.
To put it simply, ensuring you are in the best of health will make a significant contribution to the overall wellbeing of your company.
If you are stressed to your limit, so anxious that you have trouble sleeping, and physically exhausted beyond what you believed were the limits of your endurance, your commercial performance is likely to suffer.
So take control. Write into your business plan some health-related strategies that you know will make you feel better - and perform better as a business leader.
These could include:
● Establishing a time when you finish work each day. Working late into the evening may be an occasional necessity, but burning the midnight oil every evening will take its toll.
● Carving out days when you take a complete break from work. Ideally, this should be the whole weekend. If you really are too busy to walk away on both Saturday and Sunday, at least make sure one of those days is yours and yours alone.
● Setting your bedtime early enough so that you get the hours of sleep you need. Few things are more demoralising than getting up in the morning feeling shattered.
● Building time into your schedule to take regular exercise. Even if it’s just a 30-minute walk to the shops and back, you will feel the benefit.
● Take breaks during your working day. Stretch your legs, have a cup of tea or a snack and come back to your work with a refreshed mind.
● Read. Whether it’s business books or subject matters completely unrelated to work, it’s always good to broaden your mind. And every now and then you might learn something useful.
● Ensure you eat and drink healthily.
Every business owner will have different priorities as a result of being more stressed in one area or another. But if you take care of yourself and feel better as a person, you will perform better as a business leader.
Writing your wellbeing priorities into your business plan at the start of each year is a way of ensuring they resonate with you as you settle into the rhythm of a new, healthier working life.
Written by Martin Booth - LEBOO MEDIA