Written by Marie Miguel
Being a business owner takes more than just working a full 8 hour day and can exhaust even the most organized business owners. Without a solid team to manage daily operations or clear objectives and projections, many owners race against the clock and struggle to stay afloat. So it’s no surprise that half of all small businesses fail after five years.
Small to Medium enterprise owners have many responsibilities to juggle. They must keep track of their team morale, address any customer grievances, keep track of inventory, monitor projected goals, manage growth and expansion, pay utilities and taxes, and a myriad of other issues. When an SME owner must handle all of these issues, it’s bound to increase stress and frustration.
Many business owners may find stress levels reach a breaking point and seek ways to tackle stress. This article will cover some of the reasons SME owners may feel pressure and the best ways to mitigate stress levels.
Managing Teams and Staff
Almost half of all small-to-medium business owners have stated staff is one of the largest sources of stress. Building a great team requires employees to understand their roles and responsibilities. It also involves participation in your company’s goals and objectives.
Some may be on board, while others just want to get paid. Employees that don’t share your vision may lead to constant mistakes or a lack of enthusiasm and could lead to negative customer feedback and long-term issues.
Your team is composed of people with unique personalities and strengths. Managing a team means understanding where their strengths and weaknesses. Encourage employees by seeing them as team members.
Providing training and support can help employees feel satisfied and happy, which can lead to better productivity. Also, consider team-building activities, so your staff sees each other as a team.
Completing Administrative Tasks
Many SME owners claim it’s the minutiae of small tasks that cause the most stress overall. Administrative tasks can take up a considerable part of your day and drain you if not managed or left to accumulate. For most owners, their business is their baby, and they want to be a part of every facet of it, even if it means back-to-back sleepless nights and high stress. It can be challenging to keep track of every task and proves particularly difficult if said task is a requirement by law or government agency. Many SME owners feel overwhelmed and exhausted, which may affect their ability to manage their team or grow their business.
The best way to cope with this type of stress is to delegate some tasks to employees or outsource the work. Delegating tasks widens your reach by giving employees added responsibilities. It also helps employees learn new skills and grow with your company.
Outsourcing more sensitive functions like Human Resources or tax preparation can free your time to focus on bigger goals and tasks for the company’s future.
Consider using an online task manager to list all tasks prioritize them in one place. Task managers can provide a holistic view of what needs to get done and can show you which tasks need urgent attention and which can wait.
Bringing Stress Home
For many business owners, their business is their primary source of income. Their company wins can mean paying off debt, mortgage payments, saving for college, or any other goal. Likewise, diminished earnings or business setbacks can negatively affect their ability to pay personal debts. As a result, it may be hard to disengage after a 12-16 hour day, and that stress can bleed into their personal life.
If you feel overwhelming stress from running your business, it’s okay to ask for help. If you had to file your taxes, no one would shame you for seeking an accountant for support.
Similarly, mental health professionals can help you manage stress by providing a safe, confidential place to talk. BetterHelp connects you to hundreds of licensed professionals who are ready to help virtually from the comfort of your home. If you’re facing difficulty managing daily stress, visit BetterHelp today.
Overspending and Poor Cash Flow
Many business owners may invest in expensive equipment with high up-front costs to boost production or expand sales. While planned losses are normal and encouraged, overspending can quickly turn an ambitious business owner into a stressed-out one with a lack of funding to cover basic costs.
Consider looking into your local Small Business Associations. They often host events or free or reduced-priced classes to help business owners manage their expenses and improve their recordkeeping skills.
Take the time to understand your expenditures, recognize seasonal trends, fixed and variable costs, and average cash flow. Hiring an accountant to manage business transactions can help you accumulate sufficient data to find seasonal trends and develop ways to mitigate expenses and increase profits.
Managing a business can yield equal parts pleasure and stress. For many, the joy of being your own boss is an indescribable feeling that overshadows any other frustration. However, mounting stress can spoil that happiness and affect your mental and physical health if left unchecked.
Remember to check in with yourself if the pressure is pushing you to your breaking point. Take the time to assess your feelings and stress levels. When stress levels are high, sometimes the best thing to do is to step away and cool off.
About the author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.