The Capify SME Business Confidence Survey (BCS) reveals that work-life balance is a major issue for owners and operators. Across the last six quarterly surveys, nearly one third of respondents cite work-life balance as an issue that keeps them awake at night.Unlike their counterparts in larger businesses, SME owners are particularly prone to struggles with work-life balance. In many smaller organisations, the owner will be involved in every facet of the business – from sales and customer service, to finance and operations. Not only can this leave very little time for friends, family, and wellbeing, but it can also mean that the strategic development of the business is ignored.Owners often feel compelled into working long and anti-social hours because their involvement is so critical to the business. But being so involved in solving today’s challenges can result in longer-term problems – be those in relationships, health or business growth. Putting in place some new behaviours and priorities can help you achieve a better work-life balance to the benefit of all areas of your life.\t\t \t\t\tHire the right support.\t\t \t\tKeep a timesheet for a month. Identify where you’re spending your time and group into categories (admin, sales, finance etc). Work out what your billable hourly rate would be and then analyse the cost to the business of your involvement in each of these categories. Based on this, analyse whether your working pattern is the best use of your skill-set or whether someone else might be better suited (or cost the business less) to fulfil it.\t\t \t\t\tSet exclusion zones. \t\t \t\tMake sure there are times in your working day and working week, that are free from work. You will need to communicate to clients, suppliers and colleagues about when your ‘no contact’ times are. It may feel like a risky move to take yourself away from potentially business-critical challenges, but most of your contacts will understand the need to not be ‘always on’. In these periods, take a break from your devices, so you can’t be interrupted.\t\t \t\t\tInvest in technology\t\t \t\tThere are many standard business processes, particularly in the finance function, that can be automated with software. Many elements of the sales process, invoicing and reporting can all be automated with easily-available and cost-effective software. Invest in technologies that can free up your valuable time.\t\t \t\t\tPrioritise wellbeing.\t\t \t\tLong hours, missed meals and sustained levels of stress are all regular symptoms of SME ownership. These conditions can take their toll on your emotional and physical wellbeing.Failing to carve out the time to exercise, socialise, eat healthily and think can end in burn out. A fresh and energised you for a few hours a week less is a better asset to the business than having to take extended time away from it.Running a successful business can often benefit from an element of counter-intuition. Taking regular time out from the gruelling day-to-day demands of running an SME may seem like a risky move, but it can bring longer-term financial and wellbeing rewards. Equally, investing in support structures, processes and technology may seem a luxury you can’t afford but it might give you the headspace to prioritise higher-value, and better balanced, leadership.At Capify we offer a range of business loans to help support small businesses throughout their growth journey. Check to see if you’re eligible for one of our loans with our online eligibility checker. Or, if you’d prefer to talk to a member of our team, we’d be happy to guide you through the process. Give us a call today on 0800 151 0980.