Coping with modern life is stressful in itself, and running a business will probably magnify your stress levels even more. If you feel overwhelmed by, or worried about your business you are not the only one. No-one is immune from the pressure of keeping a business running let alone making it successful and profitable. So what’s the answer? Here are the top causes of stress and how to deal with them.
This is a big stressor; from employing the right people to keeping them motivated, loyal and productive. Unless you have studied management, the specialised skills that are necessary to keep a workforce happy and productive are hard to learn on the job. Employees are your best asset, and nurturing their personal growth is a difficult journey when your priority is business growth.
Finding the right people is a big focus for small businesses and there is a lot of advice about interviews and recruitment, but nurturing is just as important. Supporting your employees is the best route to creating a productive team who are experts in their field and who will be invested to stay with you, and help your business to thrive.
It’s easy to think that you are the best person to do certain tasks. Entrepreneurs are typically self starters who thrive on being in control, but letting go and being more flexible can reap huge benefits. Invest in training and give employees a voice. If they feel that they are just worker bees who follow orders, they won’t develop any loyalty to your business. Loyalty has to be earned so, allow them to have opinions and offer solutions to problems. You don’t have to take their advice, but think about the wealth of ideas you could miss by not listening.
If you started small then its understandable that you are used to doing the admin jobs. Things like submitting tax returns, invoicing customers and updating social media are necessary to keep your business going and if you were the only employee at the beginning its difficult to delegate when you take on staff. Consider outsourcing the specialised jobs like marketing and accounting. There is plenty of support out there in the digital age, and these chores can be done by freelancers and computer software.
No one is good at multitasking. There is a myth that women are better, but it really isn’t the case, no one is mentally equipped to cope with taking on more than one task at a time. It’s counterproductive and you will only end up doing several jobs badly instead of doing one job wonderfully well. Our brains are not designed to cope with more than one thing at a time, so if you attempt to do two things simultaneously your thoughts will jump from one to the other. You will probably end up taking longer than if you had used all your concentration to complete these tasks one after the other, and you’ll feel bogged down and overwhelmed. It’s a much better idea to tackle each issue on it’s own. Giving your full attention to one task will mean it’s done to a much higher standard.
Dropping the ball
It’s ok to drop a few balls, you can’t do everything. Most balls will bounce anyway! Make sure you are prioritising the most important things and delegate where you can. Make the delegations into tasks that empower the employee, and let go of the feeling that you have to do everything.
It’s so tempting to pick the best jobs first and leave the ones you hate until you are right up to the deadline. Be sensible with your time and if there is a task that you keep putting off, break it down into it’s component parts. We tend to procrastinate when a job is overwhelming. You feel that it’s too difficult because your mind can’t wrap itself around the project as a whole, so make a list of each stage of the job and tackle each point on it’s own and in sequence. For example a marketing consultant may be worried about starting a social media campaign. By breaking down the tasks within the project it becomes much less scary, and a simple list that has the headings like researching the industry, taking photos, writing copy, uploading content etc. will make it feel far more manageable. If it still looks scary break it down further with details like: listing important dates, researching hashtags etc. It’s a technique borrowed from CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and it really works in a business setting. A task that was looming large and making you feel worried will become far less stressful and you’ll zoom through it with ease.
Peter Drucker the respected management consultant said “ Do what you do best, and outsource the rest”, and he was right. Think about why you started your business. Your enthusiasm and love for it probably don’t lie within the minutia and mundaneness of everyday admin. Pinpoint what you love and do that! Delegate and outsource whatever you can to experts who love what they do. It’s a simplistic view, but if you start with the premise that you are at your best when you are enjoying your job, it’s not difficult to identify the parts of it that don’t give you joy. Outsource them to someone to whom it does give joy!
Money and Finances
Keeping on top of your accounts is a treadmill that never goes away. If you are not an expert in finances, then it makes sense to outsource this and employing a great accountant is paramount. However you still need to keep good records for the accountant to work with. If you are not a lover of admin and it’s a job you leave until it’s overdue and then you need a system. Here at Xpert Technologies we have an amazing app that is the perfect accounting tool. It is called Xpert A-Kounts; it will work smart and will save you time, leaving you the breathing space to make better decisions and do what you do best… running your business. For more information click this link Xpert A-kounts