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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 21 January 2021
  • Public Relations

5 Tips for Balancing a 9-to-5 and Growing a Small Business

Lolly Lolly Ceramics is rapidly growing in popularity, but it isn’t Lalese Stamps’s only entrepreneurial outlet. In fact, from nine to five on the weekdays, she is a graphic designer. Which, Lalese said, often leaves little time in her studio—but she is finding ways to make it work without stepping on her creativity.

As part of our small business advice series, Lalese shared her five tips for balancing a full-time job and a small business:

1. Set a schedule.

Lolly Lolly owner working on a computer with ceramic mug on the desk

For Lalese, her schedule is already mapped out; she works as a graphic designer during the day, then spends her evenings and weekends in the studio. She also advises small business owners to schedule personal time. Maintaining that separation while also giving yourself a window of free time helps keep you balanced.

2. But give yourself grace.

Know when it’s time to deviate from your set schedule. If you are feeling tired or burnt out, give yourself some grace and allow yourself to rest. Lalese says, “Sometimes I can go until two o’clock in the morning, but others? I’m too tired and I have to go to bed.” It can be easy to overwork, so listen to yourself when it’s time to stop.

3. Communicate openly with family, friends and customers. 

When Lalese was overwhelmed with orders for Lolly Lolly Ceramics, she temporarily shut her site down and put an email wall up. Customers could enter their emails and would be notified when the next batch of ceramics would go up on the site. This allowed Lalese to focus on her craft without feeling the stress of customers wondering what was happening with the site.

Lalese also advises small business owners to communicate like this with family and friends. Tell them when you are feeling overwhelmed or need to cancel plans, when you need help or when you want to share your successes. Having a support system that understands what your day-to-day looks like can help you stay grounded.

Lolly Lolly owner smiling and laying on top of a pallet of clay

4. Don’t be afraid to take a break from business.

The temporary pause on Lalese’s site was actually a great opportunity for her to take a break and reset without having to meet deadlines or push herself to create work. It also helps create excitement and hype around her next product drop— a win-win. Building space into your business to slow down can help you be more productive in the long-run.

5. Delegate tasks when and where you can.

When Lalese’s business began to grow, she realized that she couldn’t do everything herself. Luckily, she had friends and family who wanted to pitch in and offer their skillset to Lolly Lolly Ceramics. The decision to put the email wall up came from a friend of Lalese’s. Several other friends have stepped in to help with the website and more. At first, Lalese said it was difficult to delegate, but the help has been greater than she expected and advises other small business owners to lean on those who offer their support.

Balancing a full-time job and a small business can be as exhausting as it is exhilarating. Be sure to give yourself some grace and don’t be afraid to take a break when you need it, lean on friends and enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

Keep checking back and follow us on social media for more small business advice! Our series features insights from small business owners across the country.


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