Running a small business is liberating. You get the chance to be your boss, you can work whenever and often wherever you like, and you don’t have to answer to anyone along the way. However, just because you feel free when running your own business doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with plenty of stress.
Indeed, studies from 2019 show that 8 in 10 small business owners have experienced some level of stress. While this is unsurprising considering the amount of work involved, it’s also interesting to consider what you can do to avoid or overcome this stress. If you’re a small business owner who feels at the end of your tether, here are eight ways you can reduce small business stress.
Look At The Positives
It’s easy to only look at the negatives when you’re feeling stressed, but this will only send you into a spiral that can be difficult to escape from. Instead, it’s vital to look at and consider the positives to help you put things into perspective.
If you look at what is going well and analyse your strengths, you will approach issues with a more positive mindset. This will help you look for better and more effective solutions, rather than accept that you are stuck in your situation with no hope out. You will be more creative and willing to try different ideas, which could prove highly beneficial.
Identify Stress Triggers
If you are regularly stressed at work, it is useful to identify what triggers your stress most often. These triggers could be other people; it might be traffic or your workload. Sometimes, you can control these triggers, but most of the time, you can’t.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to accept defeat. Instead, you can look at ways to avoid and overcome such triggers. If you feel you have too much work to do tomorrow, try preparing everything the night before to help you drive straight in. as for heavy traffic, leave a little earlier if possible or look for an alternate route.
Develop a Schedule (And Stick to It)
Schedules are essential in all aspects of our lives, but if you don’t have a schedule that you can rely on, there is a severe lack of order in your life. As a small business owner, you need to be more organised than the average person. You need to know what you’re doing every day, and even every hour.
This schedule can help you approach each day with more confidence and even improve your mood. If you create a morning routine, you will find yourself with some semblance of order. It will put you in the right frame of mind to be productive throughout the day, and hopefully minimise the amount of stress you face.
Establish Your Priorities
You might feel stressed because you are prioritising the wrong things at work and even in life. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s tempting to look at the easy fixes rather than tackle the more demanding and essential needs.
This, however, is where you could be going wrong. While more significant projects can seem daunting, they are often the most pressing matters and therefore demand your attention. The longer you put them off, the worse you will feel about them, but as you know you need to complete them, it will compound your stress, only making things worse.
Look For External Support
You don’t need to tackle your stress all by yourself. If you find yourself doing everything for your business, you are sure to get too overwhelmed and burn out at some point. Thankfully, there are plenty of services that can help you delegate your duties, even if it’s just for a month.
Outsourcing your marketing and payroll demands will give you more time to focus on the more critical elements of the business. You can also consider delegating tasks to some of your employees (if you have any), to ease the load.
Know How to Say No
If you’re a freelancer or someone trying to build their business, it’s tempting to take on as much as possible. However, this can do more harm than good. While the prospect of more money is enticing, it can mean you take too much on at once, meaning you miss deadlines and increase your stress levels.
Learning how to say no will help you determine which projects are most beneficial for you and ease the workload for the time being. There may be a time where you can take on more work, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a break to catch up on everything and then start all over.
Find The Right Business Tools
Sometimes, it’s about finding the right business tools to help you deal with the myriad of requests, queries, and projects that come your way. These tools will make your work life much easier to manage and even help you distribute duties evenly.
For customer service, you can find out how to add live chat to your site. In contrast, website optimisation, marketing automation, and data analytics can add context to your sales, giving you greater clarity on the next stage of your strategy.
Log Off Regularly
Small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t feel they can ever log off fully. They are worried about missing potential requests or messages. They need to be connected to their business; otherwise, they don’t know what to do with themselves.
However, if you don’t give yourself the chance to wind down, you will never be switched off. This causes stress, anxiety, and could cause burnout and depression later on. None of these conditions are beneficial for you, and you won’t be at your best. With this in mind, take the chance to log off from your email and spend time doing what you love, whether that’s exercise or just relaxing on the sofa with your family.
Stress is a natural response to a wide range of triggers in life, and it doesn’t always need to be a bad thing. Of course, you want to minimise your stress as much as you possibly can, so it’s important to look for ways that you can reduce your stress and take on the day every day as it comes with enduring success.