Running a small business is stressful. A survey from Bank of America found that, for business owners, managing a small business is more stressful than maintaining a relationship with their spouse or even raising their kids. In fact, managing stress is a key component of running a business over the long-term, because otherwise owners risk slowly burning out, losing productivity, and facing problems.
What can business owners do to reduce their stress?
- Write everything down. It’s the best way to “purge your brain,” according to Entrepreneur, so that business owners aren’t constantly spending mental energy trying to remember everything.
- Escape. According to a study by small business lender OnDeck, 61% of small business owners will only take five business days off per year – half of what the average corporate worker takes. Worse, nearly half (47%) of small business owners with a company open less than 10 years won’t take a vacation at all. Getting away from the stress occasionally is key to managing it.
- Stop multitasking. It might seem like you’re getting more done, but you’re just making each individual task harder than it needs to be.
- Delegate. Hire employees, even just part-time, or outsource to vendors who specialize in the task.
- Get back to basics. Over time, task lists swell with non-urgent items that are best described as “nice to have but unnecessary.” When feeling overwhelmed, drop any task that fits that description.
- Get adequate rest. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends between 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Turn off notifications. Information overload is a major stressor in the modern world, and you can take an important step toward reducing it by turning off all those beeps and buzzes that alert you to new emails and messages.
- Limit exposure to personal social media, especially during work hours. Not only is it a distraction, it takes time away from the business and can contribute to a sense of overwhelm.
- Automate. Take time-consuming tasks and use technology to automate them. For example, rather than responding to employee inquiries about benefits manually, give them a self-service portal.
- Address your top challenges. There’s a good chance that only a small number of stressors are accounting for the majority of your stress. For example, cash flow is often a major stressor. In that case, hire a contractor or vendor instead of an employee who will add to your payroll and suck up additional cash.
- Ask for help from experts. Some aspects of running a business are not just overwhelming but also complicated and confusing, e.g. compliance regulations. Thankfully, there are professionals who specialize in these areas; get their help and put your mind at ease.
- Exercise. According to Harvard, exercising reduces stress, anxiety, and helps to fight depression.
CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.