Establishing a business is a wonderful achievement, but as any small business owner knows, this doesn’t come without sacrifice. It will take a lot of time and energy to set up a business, and this hard work doesn’t stop after those initial years, either. You will always be committed to finding ways to improve your operations and keep delivering quality services and products to your customers. You will be doing everything you can to promote your brand in a positive light, and reach even more customers across the country and even abroad.
All of these things and more will be running through your mind as a small business owner, and it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed at times. Stress is not good for your well-being, and it certainly won’t help you get the most out of your business, so below are some ideas to help small business owners reduce stress.
Accept That You Can’t Control Everything
It’s only natural that you want your business to succeed, and that all of the circumstances that can make this happen will come together and go smoothly for you. However, the reality is that things will go wrong at some point, and perhaps in a way that you didn’t even consider. It’s good to be prepared for potential issues that could make things difficult for your business, so having a contingency plan in place is sensible. While this is beneficial, it’s also important to remind yourself that some of the issues that impact your business will be out of your control. It can be difficult to do this at times, but you do need to try and focus on the things you can control, and accept that these other issues are out of your hands.
This idea of accepting that you can’t control everything can also be used as a reminder that you need to be able to delegate tasks to your teams if you do have any employees. Micro-managing will only add to the stress that you are already feeling, as well as create a toxic environment in your business for employees. It could also end up wasting a lot of time, as you could and should be putting your energy into other tasks only you can do as a business owner.
Set Realistic Goals
You should also make sure you are setting realistic goals for your business to avoid disappointment and unnecessary pressure. Having ambition and vision for your company is fantastic, and you should be looking at ways to challenge yourself and your employees to keep things interesting and moving forward. However, if you are being unreasonable when it comes to your targets this could backfire. Remember, building a business from the ground up is a marathon, not a sprint, and while you might want to see it thriving in a short time, it’s better to have strong foundations to give your company the best chance of surviving.
Make sure you have made smart short-term and long-term goals for your company. You should be reviewing your goals every quarter to monitor your progress and to see where your strategies can be improved to meet your targets.
When you run a small business, you might not always have the resources to hire a team of people to work alongside you. Even if you have been able to employ a small team to work in-house for you, they might not be able to keep up with the demanding workload that running a company comes with. This is why it is worth it to look at using freelancers or other professional services to help you manage your daily operations more efficiently. This could be using a company to help you with recruitment, HR duties, marketing, or even IT support. You could also use services like this one for a virtual reception to help you take important calls and do basic admin for you throughout the week.
Finding help like the services listed above will certainly help to reduce the stress you and your in-house teams feel, while still maintaining a professional image for your brand that is important to inspire trust and confidence in your business for customers.
Remember the Importance of Downtime
It can be easy to find yourself consumed with running a business and struggling to switch off at the end of the working day. You might find yourself sitting up late at night thinking about marketing strategies, how much stock you need to order, doing research on potential clients, or answering emails late into the night. Yes, having a strong work ethic will be beneficial if you want to be a business owner, but don’t forget the importance and necessity of downtime, either. If you’re working even when you walk through the door at home, this will only elevate your stress levels and impact your ability to relax and get some much-needed rest.
Separating work from home is a great place to start, making your living environment a work-free zone. If you do have to work from home, then use a spare bedroom or space in the house that is your dedicated work area, or think about using a shared office space outside of the home to create more distance between the two. You should also look at setting yourself regular working hours and switch off notifications for work emails and messages outside of these times. Taking at least one vacation a year will also help you get some time to unwind, as well as get to have quality time with those you love.
Sleep, Eat, and Exercise
Finally, if you want to help yourself feel less stressed as a small business owner, you should think about how well you are following the basics of self-care. Eating a balanced diet to give your body the nutrients it needs will help you feel more energized and positive. Regular exercise can also help to boost your mood and improve your sleep cycle, and getting a good night’s sleep will improve cognitive functions and help you feel more positive.
If you are a small business owner who has been feeling overwhelmed lately, think about this quick guide and use the tips to help reduce stress and keep your business moving forward.