There’s much to be proud of if you’re a small business owner. You’re building something with your own skills and efforts, you’re having a positive impact in the world, and you can create a legacy that your children can continue when the time is right.
Yet running a small business is a lot like hiking to the top of a tall mountain. It’ll eventually be worth it, but boy oh boy, it sure can be a struggle to get there. While things will always be difficult, there are things you can do to ensure that those difficulties don’t produce debilitating stress.
In this blog, we’ll look at a number of ways that small business owners can get a handle on things and reduce their stress levels.
Know What You’re Doing
Things might be tough, but if you know what you’re doing and where you’re trying to get to, then everything will be much more manageable. Winning an Olympic medal is hard, but it’s not stressful to the winner, because they know exactly what they’re doing.
So take a look at some of the things that cause you to stress in your business. Is it because you’re not entirely confident that you’re doing it correctly? If that’s the case, then you can look at improving that part of your skillset. There’ll be courses and other materials available that’ll make things more straightforward.
Have a Cause
On the days when things really get tough, you’ll need something solid to hold onto. If you don’t, then you’ll begin wondering why you’re putting all this effort in, and that can be a cause for stress on its own. One of the best things that a business owner can do is to have a cause that they’re fighting for.
For example, it could be that they want to rid the world of a particular problem, or raise money for charity, or help others. It can be anything, so long as it’s something a little more substantial than just making money. Money should be the side effect of a business, not the primary goal.
Start the Day Right
You’ll find that you’re able to handle the trials and tribulations of running a business if you begin the day correctly. It’s a different experience, trying to make it through the day on empty, and flying through the day because you’re full of energy. It all begins with how you start the day.
If you get a good night’s sleep under your belt, have a nutritious breakfast, and get a little exercise in, then you’ll arrive at the office flying and ready for work. If you want to take things even further, then you could consider taking a cold shower, too. This is something that people shy away from, but they really can give you a burst of energy unlike anything else.
It’s always a good idea to disconnect the idea of you from your business persona. They’re two different things. Sometimes, owners heap stress onto themselves because they think that all of the company’s issues are a reflection of them as a person. They take it personally. Instead, adopt a professional mindset. This won’t just help you to do your work better, but it’ll also put a distance between your identity and the work that you do.
If something goes wrong, then it’s a problem for the business, not an issue with your ability as a business owner. Plus, having a professional outlook benefits in other ways too. It establishes your credentials and you’ll find that your clients and others are more likely to take you seriously. You’ll be in control, rather than your customers.
Hiring Your First Staff
You might begin your company as a one-person operation, but there’ll come a time when you want to bring others into the fray. You can’t do everything all on your own, not once you’ve moved past the early stages of your company. So take a look at hiring your first employees.
While there may be a period of adjustment while you and they are getting used to the new role, it won’t be long before you begin to feel the benefits. It’s not just about having people to help you with the many tasks involved with running a business. It’s all about support. There’s a lot of power in knowing that there are other people besides you who are on the same page.
Another method is to look at outsourcing certain tasks to other companies. There are some jobs that can cause stress and heap too much on your plate, but which aren’t big enough to merit hiring an employee.
For those jobs, look at working with other companies. There are many tasks that you can outsource, including IT, accounting, marketing, and legal matters. You’ll have peace of mind that these jobs have been taken care of, allowing you to focus on the tasks that will help to push your business forward.
Tools to Make It Easier
Even after hiring employees and outsourcing tasks, you’ll still find that there are a number of jobs that have to be completed. When you make your ‘to do’ list, you might find that there’s a long list — and sometimes, just looking at the list can cause a spike in stress.
In the age of technology, however, there are plenty of tools that can help to make your life as a small business owner easier. There are apps that can help you to create an invoice, and software you can use to create an employee schedule. Whatever task you have to do, there’ll be a tool available that’ll make the job more straightforward.
Build a Safety Net
A significant portion of small business owners have concerns about their finances. Especially during difficult times, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Even if things are generally going well, there’s always a chance that things will change, and business will slow down. That’s why it’s important to build something of a safety net while the good times are with you.
If you can build up a pot of cash, then you’ll have peace of mind that even if things drop off a little, you’ll be financially secure for a little while.
Celebrate Your Wins
Business can feel like an uphill battle, but there are many good times in there too! If you’ve achieved something of note, then celebrate the victory. It could be that you’ve completed a big project, or you’ve celebrated your first anniversary in business.
Whatever it is, don’t let those moments come and go. Host a party or just treat yourself to something nice. It’ll remind you of why you got into business in the first place.
Mindfulness and Self-Care
There are some tried and tested methods that can help to reduce stress. This applies not just to business-related stress, but all stress. Meditation is perhaps the most effective and well-known tool. The great thing about this is that anyone can do it. If you have a spare ten minutes, then give it a go.
There’s a lot of confusion about meditation, with many people believing that you need some special skill, but you don’t. The magic lies in the simplicity. As well as meditating, look at general self-care practices. If you make time for feeling good about yourself, then you’ll find that you’re able to handle the stress of running a business much better.
Take Care of the Big Tasks First
You’ll begin to feel your stress levels begin to creep up if you’re nearing the end of the day and you still have a long list of things to take care of. While this is unavoidable on occasion, it should be the exception, not the rule.
One handy trick to get around this is to prioritize the most important tasks. Those tasks should be taken care of first thing in the morning. By the time the afternoon rolls around, you’ll know that you’ve already done the things that you needed to do.
Finally, remember that while you want to get as much business as possible, there may be times when you have to say no. This is something that a lot of business owners don’t realize they’re allowed to say, but you are.
If you’re overrun with work, then stop taking new clients for a little while. You’ll find your stress levels are much more manageable when you feel like you’re in control of your work, rather than just being taken along for the ride.
Ultimately, there’s no avoiding the fact that you’ll have to experience some stress as a business owner. It’s what you sign up for when you enter the competitive business world. But remember that you should also enjoy it, and if you’re finding that the stress levels are beginning to rise a little too much, then take action.
By incorporating the tips above, you’ll find that you can create a profitable business while also keeping your mental health in check.