Stress management is probably one of the most important yet least discussed topics of being a small business owner. It often feels like stress is an unavoidable part of being an entrepreneur. If business is booming, you experience stress taking orders, dealing with clients, and getting the funding you need to grow. If business is slow, you stress about whether your company will recover and stress about paying bills. But, stress is not the inevitable lot of the small business owner. The trick is to try to stay the middle ground of avoiding 16-hour days, but maintaining a steady stream of revenue.
During busy periods, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get work done. If you feel this way, you’re probably doing too much yourself. Part of growing your business is sharing responsibilities and delegating work to others. Even if it is something as simple as passing off your company bookkeeping or scheduling to an executive assistant, it’s one less thing you have to think about so you can focus on the bigger picture of running your business. What if you’re a company of one? Consider hiring a virtual assistant. The time you invest in delegating projects so you can focus on steering the company will pay off much faster than you think.
Most businesses, though, don’t experience relentless, unending growth. Sooner or later, your business will hit a dry spell, whether it’s a seasonal dip or derives from an unusual cause. Small business owners naturally get stressed if there is a decline in business or customers. Utilize this downtime to get to work on the many projects that you’ve put on hold during busier months. Now is the time to author blog articles and white papers or refresh your website. Reconnect with existing or past customers by dropping them a thank you note or sending an email marketing campaign or advertising new offers. Follow up with leads that may have seemed promising, but have fizzled out. Attend events to network and reconnect with old colleagues. If you don’t have a clear idea of what to do to generate more business, it may be time to revisit your small business marketing strategy to figure out if you are targeting and attracting the right customers to begin with.
Nothing can take all the anxiety out of the life of the small business owner. By its nature, entrepreneurship is a risky business and all small business owners learn how to roll with the punches. However, learning how to pull yourself back from the extremes of overwork and underwork, will do much to help you weather the storm.