Running a business can be stressful work. You’ve gone from the security of being a full-time employee with regular wages and employee benefits like holiday and sick pay to being the one that’s responsible for a team yourself. There are many plates you need to keep spinning and so much to oversee to ensure your venture works. So finding ways to make things easier and reduce stress is important, after all, you don’t want your health to suffer as a result. Here are some of the ways you can reduce stress as a small business owner.
In the beginning, it can be so tempting to want to do as many tasks as possible yourself. You might be doing this from a money-saving perspective, or because you want to ensure that jobs are being done to the best standard. However, this isn’t feasible long-term, and as your business grows you will need to start hiring more employees and delegating the work appropriately. Delegating empowers someone else to act for you, it essentially allows them to take control over an area of your business which means that it’s one less thing for you to personally worry about. Of course, as the boss, you should be overseeing everything but it means there’s less work for you to do yourself. In time, it’s most entrepreneurs dream to have a business that ‘runs itself’ where you can reap the rewards of profits without having to do much of the work yourself. To do this, you need to build a reliable team of workers who are fantastic at their job and can run things in their own department without constant guidance from you.
Provide Proper Employee Training
Of course, if you’re going to be trusting areas of your business to others, you need to ensure they know what they’re doing. This starts with the recruitment process, you want to be attracting the right kind of candidates. Those who have proven experience in similar roles are a good choice, but you may also choose to hire on potential as you believe the candidate will be a quick learner and provide something valuable to your team. Once you have the right kind of people, you need to give them the best training. This could also involve regular top-up training. As a business, you will need to constantly evolve and adapt to meet changing consumer demand and to keep up with things like technology. This can mean your employees jobs change subtly over time so the right training will ensure they are working to the best of their ability. When your staff knows what they’re doing, you will feel happier taking a step back and leaving them to get on with running each of their departments.
The staff you do have, you want to be putting them to their best use. The last thing you want is to hire an extra worker just to be paying them to do work that a computer could be doing for free (not to mention doing it quicker and more efficiently). As a modern business owner you need to be making the most of the technology available to you, these days there are all kinds of incredible software that can help to automate areas of your business. Rota planning software, for example, can quickly and easily plan shifts with no worry of double booking staff. Customer relationship management software will keep all of your customers’ details together and can automate things like marketing materials based on past purchases and also work to give them a more personal experience. Do your research, find out what CRM softwares are available for your type of business and be sure to utilize them,
As well as making sure all of the in-house tasks are done to the highest standard, one thing you could do is outsource some departments of your business. Things like manufacturing, for example, can be problematic for the average company to run themselves due to massive overhead costs to start up and strict health and safety standards. Fulfillment can be another issue, due to the space and equipment needed for warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping. Companies like Fulfilltopia can take the weight off your shoulders by taking over this area of your business. While there are of course fees when you pay a third party company to work for you, it can actually save you money overall. You don’t have to pay for extra premises, equipment or hire more staff. You have peace of mind that the work is being done by a professional company that specializes in the area they work in so that everything is done to the highest standard. You don’t have to oversee the work being done yourself and so it does free up more of your time and allows you to take a step back.
Stop Burning The Candle at Both Ends
Finally, it’s important for you to be able to take time for yourself when needed. When you run a company it becomes your life, chances are you’ve given up your full-time career to manage everything and you might have even poured your life savings into it. Your business could be your only source of income and so its failure simply isn’t an option. So it’s natural to want to spend all the hours you get making sure things are running properly and making yourself busy with a million different tasks. But it’s so important to give yourself time away from it all too. Give yourself a day off each week, ideally two. It doesn’t have to be a regular weekend, but a couple of days where you can recharge, clear your mind and not have to worry about your business can prevent burnout. Set your working times and stick to them, this means no taking phone calls at the dinner table, answering emails in bed or working on the laptop during a family movie! This isn’t simply a luxury but absolutely vital for success. You’ll find that once you have a break you can go back to work with a fresh head, you’re more likely to spot mistakes and will actually be more productive when you do work. Work smarter, not longer. It can take some time to find the balance between work and life, but it is something you need to master eventually.