Freedom – we all want it, whether you have your own business or work for a company. It’s easy to understand why – getting up when you want, doing what you want during the day, living the life you want, not being tied to one place has obvious appeal.
Why has freedom become such an important value? How does freedom impact the working week (especially if you have your own business)? How do you achieve this freedom?
The answers lie in how work has changed and the decisions business owners face. We need to look at:
The way we want to work has changed – people no longer want to be consigned to desks and computers to do work.
For example, between 2012 and 2016, the number of people working flexible hours increased by 12% and it’s showing no sign of slowing down.
Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) people are entering the workplace with refreshing new attitudes towards work and are driving this change. These generations fully expect the freedom to manage their work in a way that suits their needs.
The influx into the workplace of generations with different expectations has a knock-on effect for others:
Employers who want to attract the best young talent are changing their approach and offering a more flexible working environment.
Those with their own businesses are following this too – they want the freedom to run them at the time and place that suits their needs.
Freedom brings positives to both the business and those within it.
For example, freedom leads to greater productivity (homeworkers rank their productivity as 7.7 out of 10, whereas for office workers it’s 6.5 out of 10) and lower stress levels.
There’s also an undoubted link between freedom and overall quality of life.
Meanwhile, the organisation enjoys substantial benefits too:
- Lower office costs
- Better staff retention
- Environmental benefits
- Improved staff morale
Indeed, companies that allow their employees more freedom are 10-20 times more likely to outperform companies with low freedom scores.
But as well as bringing benefits to those who work for a company, it’s possible to enjoy freedom if you have your own business too.
The desire for freedom has inspired many people to become entrepreneurs. Indeed, 26% of them say the main motivation for starting their own business was the idea of being their own boss.
You can have freedom with your own business – but in order to achieve this, it’s important to look at things differently.
In any business where you sell your time, it’s essential to fully understand that your time is money and has a value. Being efficient is critical. Ask yourself ‘should I do this?’ to the various tasks you face in your business – taking payments, handling refunds, organising your schedule, managing accounts and statements, etc. All these tasks mount up, take time to complete and eat into your freedom. For example, sports and fitness coaches sacrifice, on average, 15.2 hours per month on doing admin. That’s time that could be spent earning more, inspiring more clients or having fun (this is even more demotivating for sports and fitness coaches as they actually rate doing their admin as one of the most boring parts of their week).
But that’s only half the story. It’s about having freedom so you can run your business where it’s convenient – whether it be in the park, at the gym, out on court, on the golf course or anywhere else. Anywhere, just as long as you’re not stuck behind a computer.
We’re not advocating just sweeping these tasks under the carpet and forgetting them. It’s just about finding a better (more efficient) way to do them so you can enjoy freedom so they fit around your lifestyle.
“[People] no longer need to stay behind after work because the tech enables them to complete their tasks before the end of the day.”
Phil Ford, director at ITEC
Technology has freed people up to have a more flexible approach to their work. Fast internet connections, apps, mobile phones all mean it’s possible to do everything, anywhere.
Meanwhile, technology also increases freedom for the business owner.
As the reason to use tech is to increase freedom, it seems counter-productive to create your own tech. This is a long, arduous journey, that’s expensive, all the while taking the business away from the core function.
The other option is to benefit from a tech company that’s already gone through all the hard work of creating a solution.
For example, to build a stronger and engaging relationship with their audience, a business could create a tech platform from scratch, spend significant time investing in the tech and the customer experience and hope that it works, then drive their audience to the platform. Or they could just use Facebook who have done all the hard work for them.
One platform that is completely dedicated to giving business owners freedom is fibodo. For example, the fibodo for Business app enables you to run your business from the palm of your hand, whenever, wherever. If you can use a diary, you’ll have all the skills you need to successfully run your business. You can plan your days, view your appointments, promote your sessions, engage your clients and much more, all through the app.
Just imagine. Doing what you love, with the freedom you want…