On a good day, running a business is an exciting adventure. On a bad day, however, running the same business becomes a huge source of stress, uncertainty and anxiety. New data even suggests that small business owners spend 17 full days each year worrying about their business – and that’s when they’re not even at work. When your finances (and your employee’s finances) are directly linked to the health of the business, small issues can grow into big concerns. You can’t take the risk out of business, but that doesn’t mean being an entrepreneur has to leave you with frayed nerves. If you’re proactive about addressing issues that are the biggest sources of stress, you can stay a lot more level-headed. Whether it’s hiring more staff, making a big marketing push or securing the best small business loans, there are a number of concrete ways you can take the wheel as a business owner and rest easy knowing you’re on top of things. The following tips are smart ways to manage your business, and more importantly, your sanity.
Be Realistic About the Good and Bad
Some worries are rational and some are not. It’s important to distinguish between the issues that are within your control and those that are truly negative for your company (rather than just temporary annoyances). At the same time, it’s crucial to be honest about your successes and accomplishments. As a business owner, when you’re up close and personal with the inner workings of your business every day, it’s easy to lose perspective. Many owners fall into the trap of starting to believe the bad outweighs the good. Put things in context and focus on the things you can change, improve or replace. That’s a much more productive use of your time and energy.
Manage Your Time Strategically
If you’re like many small business owners, you pride yourself on how hard you work and how many different roles you play. It’s impressive, and for a lot of small businesses, it’s essential. But it’s also a recipe for working yourself to exhaustion and burning out on the business. Everyone needs work-life balance, even the boss. Learn how to schedule your time as productively as possible. Then give yourself more time away from the business. It can feel like a sacrifice, and you may still log 40+ hours a week. You won’t regret working a little less, though, if it means you’re more focused and effective during your workday. Finding a way to balance the different commitments in your life is also important for the long-term sustainability of your business.
Focus on Health and Wellness
We won’t go so far as to say that owning a business is bad for your health. However, the long hours, high-stress, lack of sick days and unhealthy eating habits can leave you feeling a lot worse for wear. Make it a priority to eat healthily, get exercise, sleep enough and focus on your own well-being. This is easier said than done, obviously, but it shouldn’t be neglected. As the leader of your business, you need to be in top form, and that’s not possible if you feel physically and mentally unwell. Taking an hour a day for exercise may mean one hour less in the office, but it’s ultimately good for the business if you feel healthy and think clearly day in and day out.
Find a Long-Term Financing Partner for the Best Small Business Loans
Stress can come from countless sources – an employee that calls out, a shipment that shows up late or a leaky roof – but it’s usually related to the bottom line. Cash flow issues are a small business owner’s biggest nemesis, and trying to avoid or overcome money problems is a major source of stress. One way to make those issues less common and consequential is by finding a financing partner. Having a source of cash on demand can help you get through cash flow shortages instead of scrambling to find an alternate solution. A financing partner can also help you get approved for the best small business loans so you can quickly gather the capital necessary to jump on opportunities when they arise. With the right financing partner and the right approach to borrowing, you can avoid a lot of the issues that cause other businesses to struggle or even fail.
Learn to Delegate and Decline
As the leader of the business, it just makes sense that you would be involved with everything. This mentality is common among entrepreneurs, but it can leave you stretched thin. Worse, trying to micromanage every part of the business can distract you from the truly high-priority items and negatively impacts your staff. Learn how to delegate responsibilities to your team, and if something can’t be delegated, consider hiring or outsourcing. At the same time, learn how to decline things, even if that means turning away new business. There are limits to what small businesses can do, and trying to exceed your abilities leaves everyone stressed. Sometimes you have to say no.
Invest in the Right Tools
Solving whatever problems are causing your stress might be easier than you expect. Could they be solved with new equipment, better technology or a larger location? Would your business be more manageable if you hired another employee or worked with an outside consultant? Turning an obstacle into an opportunity is often as easy as making the right investment. For example, if you have equipment that breaks down regularly, it’s costing you money in repair bills and restricting the amount of business you can do. Purchasing new equipment (or making other strategic investments) eliminates many stressors and lets you focus on positives instead of negatives. Finding the money to make those investments could become stressful itself, which is another reason to find a financing partner. Save your sanity and invest in your business. Incorporating the tips in this guide like learning time management, taking time to recharge, and finding the best small business loans for your business will certainly help set not only your business, but yourself up for success.