What do you do to add some fun to running your business?
I have a tendency to always focus on the next thing on my to-do list. When I was in the corporate world, with many more resources, I found that I would take more breaks and joke around with co-workers. Adding some fun, carefree moments are a good way to reenergize. I would love to hear some ideas for fun pick-me-ups from those who work alone or with a small team. Thanks.
Combine things together. Have your staff meetings outside or at a local ice cream parlor - especially since the weather is so inviting - as a celebratory achievement.
Mix business with some pleasure but inviting your customers to a summer event, play, or an enjoyable event.
Kick your business relationships up a notch by introducing your clients to each others in such a way that it creates additional business FOR THEM. Have a dinner party or social that allows all your clients to mingle around a certain theme.
Kick-off a proposal around a dinner or wine-tasting party with potential investors and partners.
Take a break and help your children with an junior entrepreneur project like selling lemonade or help the design a product themselves. You will be surprised how many business contacts you will refresh when you help your child with their business.
Partner up with affiliated ventures (other business owners that offer complimentary services to your product/service) - and provide a End-to-end, Soup-to-nuts Summer Fair. This is where the combination of all your clients (your and your affiliated partners) bring all your partners together to illustrate your End-to-end solutions combining all your services.
I find that having down time and mixing fun into the day is essential for avoiding burn out. It also helps with focus to take a fun break, then go back to the task at hand.
For those who work alone or small teams, I recommend the following:
• Ditch days. Plan a week day excursion somewhere. Give yourself permission (and let your clients know you'll be away that day) to relax and recharge on a day that's normally a work day. This can help immensely, especially during long or difficult projects, to just clear your head to get back in the game.
• Walks. Take a break and walk around the neighborhood, or if you're lucky enough to live in an areas with designated trails, drive to one. Taking an hour or two out of your days for something like this is not as detrimental as one might think because you will come back refreshed and ready to tackle the problem or project you're working on.
• Games. Whether it's having a video game system in the office, a ping pong table, board games, legos, etc. games can offer a quick break and have the same effect as some of the more time consuming things. Allowing your brain some "play time" can lead to the same results as long walks or taking the day off.
Hope that helps.
Great question. Management and/or entrepreneurship can be become lonely which could cause many problems.
I do the following to perk things up:
1- Involve my kids in projects. My 8-year-old daughter comes up with marketing ideas, flyer concepts, etc. It's a great way to get fresh (and innocent perspective), also helps the kids get involved.
2- Paid volunteer time.
3- Free occasional lunch for small teams, include freelancers.
4- No phone weekends. I don't take my cell phone with me on Saturdays, focus only on family & friends. If the team has any immediate emergency, they can dial 911 :)
5- Local tourism. Many locals don't appreciate or even procrastinate visiting local tourist sites. Go out and experience local stuff: museums, tours, hotels, events, etc.
Hope this helped.
I agree with Robert, wait for a milestone of some kind. Possible a new client etc. and then go do the fun activity.
For me having a 10 game package with the Angeles, I will go to a game, especially if it's an afternoon game in the middle of week. That will be my fun time, and then go for a bit to eat afterwards.
Same things you did while in corporate will work...I used to have Ice Cream for the 4th of July...Mini Golf fun competitions, bowling...Sporting event gatherings, in house lunches etc...
I saw a lot of great ideas you have got from others here. The question I wanted to ask you though is do you have any constraint on budget or time?, Any time spent on fun activities during business hours will lead to lots of productivity you need to be cognizant of that fact and any organised fun activities may also cost money(depending on the size of the company). A few ideas I can think of are
Look for volunteers with in your company to help you organize
- BBQ at your local park on a weekend
- Celebrate employee birthdays
- Once a month pot luck event
- If employees have kids then let them cone to their parents work place once in a while and have a small event for the kids...These ideas do Work and they cost lot less than hosting a lunch party etc..
Most of these events can held on weekend so you don't have to fear lost productivity
You can have a year-round secret santa thing where you give gifts at random to the employees. I find that it is a great morale booster. You can also have impromptu team building exercises. Like hold a meeting in the park to discuss matters, take an afternoon hike then discuss numbers when you get to the top of the hill, family days where employees bring their family for a fun day, etc.
I have found that the best time to have those "fun" times is when your company has achieved some special milestone e.g. the highest level of monthly sales in the history of the company. It's a great time to have a special celebration of that success and to discuss how we can achieve the next major success.
Having pets in the office like hamsters or a cat is a great pick-me-up. Some people bring their dogs to work who are well behaved. Another thing is to arrange a lot of meeting-transactions just like Naked Chef with Jamie Oliver - a lot of errands.
always mark out time for relaxation even if its a time out. This would not only improve your well being but refreshes your creative abilities and of course accept criticisms positively.
employee get together is not a bad idea too no matter the number of staff
Structure morale into Individual or Small Group daily plans to solidify its prioritization. Build (and enforce) several beverage (water, coffee, etc.) breaks into that to-do list.
Short walks outside work well--they re-energize and create distance from work spaces. They can be to nowhere and return, to a store for a healthy snack, or another amenable "destination."
And try to avoid Talking Shop when you do...
You've received awesome input from everyone that has commented. Trying to turn down your drive to relax is difficult. You turn into a machine.
When we take breaks, we eat lunch or breakfast together, watch a game or a personal favorite playing flag football. When the families comes out and play, it creates great momentum and helps them absorb what they've accomplished in a positive way.
We have a beach day coming up next sun. I can't wait!
Hi Mary.. This is an important exercise to engage your team in the beginning when your team size is small. We have started an exercise to bring the family at workplace in a month and have a lunch together. This exercise gave a morale boost to our team and their family also.