It is unfortunately common for owners of small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) to be very stressed. You might be in a position where the business is your only source of income and you need it to be successful, but often work-related stress is more complex than this. If you have a fairly successful business but find that you are still very stressed, it could be time to find ways to mitigate the problem. Here are some of the ways small company owners can relieve stress.
Improve work-life balance
One of the biggest reasons that small business owners become stressed is because they have a work-life balance that is simply not sustainable. It is natural that small business owners will have put a lot of time building up their company – you have probably many hours more than a standard working week to be successful.
But trying to sustain this over the long-term is not healthy, and it won’t do you or your business any good. It’s amazing how much stress you can relieve by getting away from work at a sensible time and enjoying a more relaxed home life. That is, after all, what you are trying to achieve from your business. So take a look at your schedule and ensure that you are working something close to a standard week.
Simplify the hard tasks
It is the case with every business owner that there are some tasks that you love and others that you can’t stand. And naturally, the stress of the job comes in dealing with those that you really don’t enjoy doing. It could be something like the complex task of planning employees’ shifts or running your company finances that really frustrates you.
The solution is simple: invest in simplifying solutions. For example, rather than trying to manually organise shifts each week, you can invest a small amount in high-quality staff rota software (see Planday, here) which will make the whole task far easier and time efficient. Or for your finances, it is a smart move to hire an experienced accountancy firm so that they can do the work for you-you will find that the stress of having these tasks taken off your shoulders makes a huge difference to you and the rest of the work you do.
Hire when you need someone
It’s the case that what makes many owners stressed is that they simply have too much to do. This is usually because they are unwilling to stop doing tasks and delegate them to others. If you are becoming overworked and it is leading to you experience work-related stress it is likely that you need to bring someone in to work with you.
Many business owners put off the decision to hire until they are absolutely swamped. At this point, it can actually be damaging to your company, so it’s important to hire at the point that you feel you need someone.
Think about your health and happiness away from work
As we have talked about, having a more work-life balance can be very stressful. But this can be made all the worse if your lifestyle outside of work is then contributing to more stress. You should be using our free time for activities that benefit your health and happiness. As an example, if you’re stressed from work you might find that regular exercise makes a big difference.
Take regular breaks
Plenty of research has shown that if you want to improve morale and boost productivity in a business the answer is to get them to work less, not more. Studies show that when employees take regular breaks they perform better at work. This is something that all employers know, and yet it is something that many don’t apply to themselves.
As we have noted above it is important that you get time to relax and unwind, and this applies to work as well as at home. Ensure that you are not overworking yourself every day – working through lunch might be fine every so often, but it is a very bad habit to get into on a daily basis. Make sure you give yourself a proper lunch break to get your mind away from work.
Mike James is a featured author and business writer, specialising in HR, Marketing and Cybersecurity. Published on numerous online authorities and print magazines, Mike is currently focusing on HR and management.