As small business owners, we all need to get things done. The buck stops with us. We know that. But then despite this, procrastination still affects us all! In our blog last week, we looked at the many different reasons for why this is, and even we were surprised at just how many there were! But how does procrastination affect your business?

You may think that procrastinating is just time wasting, but the short and long term consequences of it can go way beyond this. If you’re a regular or chronic procrastinator, some of these areas of concern may resonate with you. And it doesn’t just waste your time. Procrastination affects the performance of your business.

1. A disappointing customer experience

As small business owners, we often need to fulfil many roles. One that will always be of paramount importance is the satisfaction of our customers. After all, without customers, we have no business. 

Sometimes, if we put off certain tasks, the knock-on effect is that other tasks get delayed – sometimes for a long time if they rely on the previous tasks being done! Additionally, we often procrastinate over ‘boring’ tasks, but these tasks can also often be the nuts and bolts of our systems. And these tasks can be those that allow us to keep up to date with client communications and experience.

And procrastinating over any tasks that relate to, or could impact on other client relationship or satisfaction tasks is a big no-no.

2. Confidence as a small business owner

Procrastination can and does have a huge effect on confidence. It can also encourage feelings of Imposter Syndrome. When we procrastinate and put things off, it can often lead to a louder internal chatter. Chatter that talks us out of things or tells us we are not good enough. But to run a small business well, you need confidence. Without it, we just can’t put ourselves out there. It’s too painful. So keep an eye on your internal chatter and make sure your procrastination isn’t responsible for your deteriorating or faltering confidence. On the flip side, getting on and doing things builds our confidence!

3. Inconsistency

Inconsistency is a great example of how procrastination affects your business. The perception your clients have of you can be affected if your procrastination leads to inconsistency in your brand. For example, if you keep putting things off and are not regularly visible on social media, you may start giving your clients the wrong, and certainly more negative, message. It can lead people to wonder what you are actually doing or offering, and even whether or not the business is operating! People may even start to question whether your business is a serious concern. Being consistent means you need to crack on and not put things off. Remember, people are watching!

4. A loss of enthusiasm

Too much procrastination can lead to less passion and enthusiasm for, and enjoyment in your business, which in turn can result in less sales. People buy people, so your enthusiasm and love for what you’re offering and what you do is vital!! By procrastinating and overthinking, you can gradually erode that passion you hold, and what is left can come across as non-committal and a bit vague.

5. Missed opportunities

Procrastination affects your business by making you miss opportunities! If someone asks you to do something, like writing a blog, collaborate on a project, or refers a client to you, but it’s outside of your comfort zone, don’t say no or put it off! Say yes! Especially if it’s something that aligns to your values and your vision. It may be a little scary, but you can work on that later! Say yes to opportunities or someone else will, and they’re unlikely to knock twice! This is definitely one area not to procrastinate on!

6. Poor health

Your health can be affected by too much procrastination, and poor health means that you’re unable to give your business your best. It might sound a little far fetched, but it’s true. Very often when we procrastinate at work, we end up working all hours to make up for it and to reach deadlines. When you repeatedly leave yourself running on adrenaline due to the amount of work you have to cram into a small amount of time, you (and your health) will pay the price over time.

So there you have it. Procrastination is a pain. But procrastination affects your business in a big way. It’s time to get a handle on it so it doesn’t stand on your way.