How to manage busy periods at a start-up

Running a start-up can be a tough task at the best of times, but when those weeks and months of heavy workloads roll around, it can be even harder to manage the workload. Whether you’re applying for funding from a venture capitalist or you need to meet a deadline in order to get your latest product or service on the shelves, there are plenty of reasons why workloads can spike. If you’re experiencing this and want some tips, then read on.

Hire some contractors

The solution to most busy periods in an office environment is usually to hire some more people to share the load. However, at a cash-strapped start-up, taking on lots more people isn’t always possible. Many start-ups opt for contractors instead: contractors can work for your firm for a specified time period, and they have much more flexible schedules than traditional workers. You also save on payroll time costs as contractors are either responsible for their own tax arrangements or they use certified umbrella company services.

Take time out

Taking time out during your busiest period may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually a smart move on some occasions. You should always schedule in time to rest, as this is the only way to be your best self. If you don’t get enough sleep or have enough time to think about something other than work, then you’ll most likely find yourself not able to concentrate or make the effective decisions that your team needs from you. Even if it’s just a short weekend away every so often or a couple of evenings a week spent with your friends, carving out downtime is always good.

Work smart, not hard

When you’ve got a lot of goals to hit, working hard is actually only part of the equation. You also need to make sure that you work in streamlined and efficient ways in order to meet targets. Take the example of a product launch: you could spend hours tweaking your social media settings so that your ads reach 0.01% more potential customers, but there’s no point doing this if it’s going to sap much more time than it’s worth. Instead, order your jobs in terms of priority – and eradicate those that aren’t strictly necessary. It’s important to keep this attitude in place when managing your team, so don’t let them fall into the trap of working hard just for the sake of it.

When start-ups get busy, it feels like there’s no end in sight – and with some start-up founders even reporting burnout and anxiety, there’s a real human cost to heavy workloads. Luckily, there are some things that you can do. From getting some contractors on board to finding the time to relax and recharge a little in order to work at your best, there’s a way out of even the most difficult working periods.

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