July 18, 2018

Owning a business is one of the most rewarding and exciting achievements. But, it’s also one of the most stressful! Because of the hands-on nature of many small to medium business owners, it can often feel like every part of your business is causing stress, especially when you ’re just starting out. Long hours, never ending to-do lists and unpredictable cash flow can leave you feeling mentally exhausted, stressed and anxious.

There’s no getting away from the fact that owning a business is stressful. But it’s important to recognise that long term stress can affect your ability to run your business and have an impact on both your business and personal relationships. So, how do you deal with stress?

Here are our top tips to help you cope with the overwhelm that business stress can cause; these tips can be used individually or they all work hand in hand.

1. Use technology to your advantage

Technology makes so many aspects of business management easier. Often small business owners are stressed because they feel they must do everything themselves to get it done right. Most business applications are now cloud-based, allowing you to work from virtually anywhere; a day working from home or outside somewhere may be just what you need to refresh, without being totally removed. Search out time-saving solutions to your tasks which will relieve pressure and help you become more productive.

2. Don’t forget to delegate

Keep a record of how you spend your time over a few days, noting the tasks that can be passed over to someone else. Perhaps someone in your team has the skills to take on some of your tasks. They may even do it better – remember you hired them because you believed they could bring something to your business so allow them the chance.  If you are a one-man business, it may be worthwhile looking at hiring a virtual assistant to outsource some of your tasks. When you do delegate a task, don’t micro-manage it, trust that they can do the job. Delegation means you’re not only easing the stress load on yourself, but also that things won’t fall apart when you do need to take a day off. Take some time to write out your standard operating procedures so if for some reason you are unable to take care of your business, you have peace of mind knowing that someone can step in and run things until you ’re back in action.

3. Look after yourself

Running a business takes a lot out of you, it can mean long nights, early mornings, no weekends and no sick days.  Looking after yourself ensures you have the energy to cope with all that is involved in becoming a successful business owner. Don’t forget to do the simple things; drink water throughout the day, regularly eat nutritious food, get some sleep and exercise. Exercise can be a fantastic way to release your anxieties and frustrations, clear your mind and help you relax. When you’re healthy, your body can better handle the stress. Looking after yourself will give you the energy to cope with all that is involved in becoming a successful business owner.

4. Take a Break

If you have put our other suggestions around delegation and using technology to use, hopefully it will be that much easier for you to take a break. And not just a holiday, but short regular breaks during your week. Stepping away from the business for even 10 minutes can prevent burn-out and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to achieve. Use your break to do something outside of the business; go for a walk, call a friend, sit at the beach, anything that’s not business related. Stepping away might even open your eyes to a new and better way to complete the tasks that are stressing you out.

Watch out for signs that stress is affecting you, you may not notice early signs yourself so listen to any feedback from the people close to you. No matter what you choose to do to improve your stress levels, you can be sure your business will benefit by having someone in charge with less stress in their life.

And, always remember to keep in mind what’s going right.

Get in touch with our team if we can help ease your workload by taking on your payroll or other daily accounting tasks.

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