Keeping on top of your business finances isn’t the most fun way to spend your day and owning or running a small business probably means you spend more time working than you do with your family and friends.
So one of the best things you can do is make working fun. Check out our 6 top tips to put the fun into tackling your business finances.
1. Take your business out of the office
A change of environment, as well as offering you a change of view, can be a great way of changing your mind set about tackling a task.
So break out of your familiar space and set yourself up in the local coffee shop; take a perch on a park bench, or find a space in a public building such as a library, museum or gallery.
Whether you choose somewhere that’s quiet or a place that stimulates your senses, breaking out of the usual routine can really help think about things differently. You may find you can get through those financial chores more quickly and easily without the usual distractions.
2. Reward yourself
We all have tasks that we know we need to do, but that we just don’t want to do. At home it might be cleaning the bathroom or doing the ironing. At work it could be a regular task that you dread.
Promise yourself a few minutes of doing something you do like when you’ve finished.
That could be five minutes reading your favourite magazine, or a chapter of your book. Alternatively, call a friend for a chat or book tickets for a gig, show or event that you want to go to.
Just make sure you finish what you need to do and get it right before you get distracted.
3. Get your groove on
Listening to your favourite tunes is sure to put a smile on your face, right? In fact music has long been used in therapy as a way to restore energy and improve moods.
That’s because when we listen to music, our bodies release serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happy and generally good about ourselves. It’s like a natural anti-depressant, with no nasty side effects.
Classical music helps soothe and calm, while the louder sounds of rock and pop can promote positive moods. Research shows that listening to almost any kind of music can make you feel more joyful, optimistic and relaxed.
4. Apply some gamification
Gamification is a big trend at the moment. To explain it simply, it’s about applying elements of gaming design and thinking in environments that aren’t primarily about gaming.
For example, many traditional games have some kind of points or scoring system.
In the world of even Linkedin rewards you with a full progress bar when you complete your profile.
Set yourself some challenges when you’re dealing with your finances to make it more fun. Set a timer and work on the task you really don’t want to do until it rings. For example, if you find invoices a chore, see how many you can get done in ten minutes and then count up your score. Next time you do that job, you have a target to beat.
5. Buddy up
The support of your family, friends and colleagues is essential for making a success of your small business. They can be your cheering squad. So use their help to motivate you to get things done. There’s nothing like knowing someone’s going to ask you about it to get a job done.
If there’s a group of you, make a public promise to get your weekly finances in order. If you fail to keep your promise that week the forfeit could be getting a round of drinks in! Challenge, support and encourage each other.
6. Let the software do the hard work
Accounts software like Sage One can help you get paid quickly, by generating clear, professional invoices from quotations so you can print or email them to your customers.
Photographer Gareth Bryne uses Sage One to manage his business and shares this key insight: “The best piece of advice I was ever given was to deal with things as they come along, rather than allowing things to mount up,” he says.
“With Sage One, if I get a bill or I have a job with a client, I invoice as I go along and I input my expenses as they come in. That way, when it comes to the end of the month or the bi-monthly return period, I actually have no work to do. It’s all there, all calculated and I just hit a button and it’s done.”
At Sage, everything we do starts and finishes with our customers. We offer innovative software and services to millions of businesses just like yours. We know that running your own company is a serious business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way.