Today’s news is rife with articles and books about having a successful business with a “4 hour work week”. That is, a business that only requires four hours of your time per week – or thereabouts. While this seems like a dream come true to many people, the fact is that it is rarely a reality, at least if you want to make a decent income.
The term “4 hour work week” was coined by Tim Ferriss, author of the aptly named The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Since its release, this book has inspired many other business owners to follow Tim’s lead.
Whether or not you ever get to a work week that is only four hours long, it is certainly possible to find ways to run a successful, lucrative business without it requiring an extraordinary number of hours of work on your part. When you take steps to put the right systems into place, many of the important tasks of keeping the business going can be handled without your direct input.
Here’s how to get started on your 4 hour work week:
1. Hire the right people.
If you aren’t going to be there to run your business day-to-day, it’s important that you hire a team who are trustworthy and competent to do so. You will need a right hand person to whom you can delegate the day-to-day activities that keep your business afloat. Hiring a few of the right people can really reduce the hours you must personally dedicate to your business.
2. Use contractors.
Many aspects of your business can be outsourced. Consider, for example, using a payroll company to manage your payroll, a bookkeeper to handle your bookkeeping, and a cleaning contractor to keep your office clean. Though you will have to pay for these services, it will free up a great deal of time.
Virtual Assistants, commonly referred to as VAs, can also be an integral part of this sort of business. There are Virtual Assistants that can look after almost any aspect of your business, including:
- email management
- customer service
- website management
- admin management
- and much more.
3. Keep only the most critical business tasks for yourself, and delegate the others.
Decide how many hours you will work each day and use your calendar to block out time to take care of the tasks assigned to you. By beginning with the end in mind, you can ensure that you aren’t working more hours than you have planned.
Make sure you allot time for emergencies and unforeseen issues. No matter what type of business you have, these will crop up from time to time.
4. Make technology your friend.
There are many tools available to help you use your time productively. There’s also apps that can help you to keep in touch with your key team members. This allows them to keep you regularly updated on what you need to know.
You will also be able to automate many processes which will again save time. Plus, these automated processes mean that your business can continue to run smoothly with less input from you (or others).
In his “The 4 Hour Work Week” book, Tim Ferriss gives a lot of examples of tools, resources and systems that he’s used to achieve this goal. I recommend reading this book and implementing those of his suggestions you find work for you.
It’s important to note that few new business owners are able to make their businesses a success in just a few hours a week. Time and commitment are essential to get a business off the ground.
However, with commitment and attention to building a good team and putting the systems in place that will keep your business humming, it is most definitely possible and something that many people have begun to enjoy.