Small business owners have one of the toughest gigs out there. They have to manage with pressure from almost every direction, including from their staff, customers, suppliers, and investors. The buck stops with the owner, and many end up covering multiple roles and trying to motivate their team, and this can mean they do not have time to focus on the next stage of growth. This stops the business from expanding, and when you add in the stress of being responsible for generating enough income to support themselves and their family, it is not hard to see why so many succumb to stress.
Here are four stress-reducing tips that may help small business owners to regain control.
1. Ask for help and advice when you need it
Running a small business can be a lonely way to earn a living, especially if you are a one-person operation and/or you rarely come into contact with your clients, colleagues, or customers. This can lead to a ‘DIY’ mindset, which means you try to solve all your problems alone, but no person can do it all, and even experienced business people are learning all the time. If you are struggling to overcome an obstacle or are losing your way, it may be time to reach out to friends and family members for emotional support, or even another business owner who could act as a mentor.
2. Delegate and outsource tasks
To reduce your workload while simultaneously improving your business, it is important to delegate to your staff and/or outsource tasks that are time-consuming or outside of your skillset. It can be difficult to trust others with aspects of your business that you have always been in control of, but the rewards are worth it. By doing this, you will have the advantage of being able to take more time to yourself to focus on expanding the business, and the business will benefit from an expert’s involvement. For example, filing your taxes is something that you can do by yourself, but it can be time-consuming and complex. Making errors can end up costing you a lot of money, and there may be tax benefits that you are missing out on, so consider outsourcing small business tax preparation to a professional accountant.
3. Use more technology
Technology has the capacity to transform the way your business operates, and when used well, it can help small businesses to expand rapidly. It can also help business owners by making their job much easier. From online banking and accounting software to automating digital marketing and managing customer relationships, technology can help you to stay on top of business wherever you are. Using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone can enable you to run your business from home, on the train, or in a coffee shop, helping you take a step back. However, remember that it is important to switch off from work regularly so you can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
4. Take care of your physical and mental health
When you are poorly nourished and exhausted, is your business going to get the best of you? The answer is, of course, no. Working yourself into the ground will leave no time for relaxation, meeting friends, spending quality time with family, pursuing your personal interests and hobbies, or taking care of your physical health. Nothing good can come from this, so be sure to take time to look after your mental and physical health. You should eat a nutritious diet, hydrate regularly, maintain a healthy sleep routine, and exercise. It is also important that you take occasional days off to recharge and ensure that you get at least one significant vacation each year.