Tips to Maintain Your Health as a Contracting Business Owner
A lot of the time, people who start a contracting business begin with exactly one employee–themselves. If you are really good at time management and you have a lot of time and energy to devote, this might seem fairly straightforward. However, it can be hard to avoid overextending yourself and put your health (and your projects) at risk. Here are a few ways you can prioritize your stamina and ensure that you can be ready to return tomorrow, whatever it brings you.
Be Reasonable About Planning
As a contractor, it can be all too easy to overpromise and underdeliver. Failure to correctly anticipate the time to complete a task accounts for at least part of the construction industry’s overrun problems. The toll this kind of stress can put on your body may not be the first thing that you consider, but it’s important to think about. Worrying about late work can translate into lost sleep and mistakes on the jobsite.
As a contractor, sometimes you’ll be waiting on subcontractors and suppliers to hold up their end of the bargain before you can get to work. Build this into your time estimates to clients, and add some padding to ensure you’ll have enough room to do the job correctly. It’s OK to extend your reach a little, as long as you aren’t doing it every day.
Stay Busy in a Sustainable Way
Running a contracting business means that you have to wear a lot of hats all at once. You may be in charge of sales, accounting, communication and completing projects for clients. You should strive for balance in your day, so that nothing falls to the wayside when you get booked up with work. Make sure you:
- get enough sleep at night
- build in break time for resting and eating
- divide difficult tasks into smaller parts
Everyone has jobs that they like better than others. If you are working on something that you absolutely hate, split it up as much as you can and combine it with other tasks you don’t mind as much. This will help you avoid burnout as well as exhaustion.
Avoid Common Injuries
When your business relies entirely on you, the last thing you need is to be taken out of action. Feeling a little sore at the end of the day or the next morning is common and may not be entirely avoidable. Falling and breaking a bone or injuring yourself while using equipment are problems you can prevent. Make sure that you are rested and alert whenever you are working. Look for possible hazards at the jobsite and do what you can to mitigate them. With every project, plan to:
- wear protective gear appropriate for the task
- follow standard safety practices consistently
- work with other businesses and subcontractors who are committed to safety
These preventive efforts will help stop the most common injuries from happening.
Watch for Signs of Repetitive Strain
Injuries can occur as a result of long-term strain, as well. Although these issues may not seem like much at first, they can accumulate over time and take a toll on your health and productivity. Even having to sit or stand in the same position for hours at a time can put strain on your back and legs. A few signs of repetitive stress injuries include:
- stiffness in the joint
- numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- pain that lasts hours after the workday
- unexplained weakness
Some of these problems can become chronic if left untreated. Going to the doctor early gives you a better chance of minimizing long-term damage.
Running a business in construction can be a challenging career, but it doesn’t have to be a hurtful one. Protecting your time and energy with these tips will help you keep at it every day. For more information about starting your own contracting business, contact us at CSLS today!