Running your own business can be an overwhelming and lonely affair. In the early days, it is often just you in your home office, working every hour of the day to achieve your goals. Managing every facet of your business solo can mean certain departments fall off your plate. You may feel the juggling act wearing you down after a while. It doesn’t necessarily get easier as your business expands, and you build a team. Being a leader and people manager can add a different challenge to owning your own company. Settling potential disputes between employees, delegating tasks and projects, overseeing deadlines alongside managing your professional networking and ensuring the future of your SME can pull your in multiple directions at once.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, there are huge benefits to being a small business owner, but it can be incredibly stressful.
Here are some top tips for managing stress when owning your own business.
Number 1: Build that work-life balance structure from the beginning. Working nine-to-five might not suit you but if you can identify what hours are productive and convenient for you, block out those time periods as your work hours and do your best to end your ‘working day’ at a set time. Sometimes putting in some overtime is unavoidable, especially with big projects or important clients but try not to make it a habit. Balancing your working hours with leisure time and an appropriate amount of sleep is the best way to prevent stress.
Number 2: Delegation. You may or may not have a small team of people by your side on your business journey. Even if you are taking on the world of business as a one-person crew, delegation is crucial. Delegating your time, focus, and materials to the individual aspects if your SME helps you keep an understanding of the bigger picture and allows you to stay on top of tasks. It can be as simple as dividing your workday into fifty-minute intervals for each task or branch your business, with ten minutes every hour to take a break, chill, have a moment to breathe and reset before diving into the next bullet point on your tick list.
If you do have the benefit of a team of trusted colleagues, delegate to them in a productive and efficient manner to save your time and headspace. Assign the multiple facets of your SME to the appropriate team member. Taking tasks off your list and trusting your employees to complete them will help you manage your stress levels.
Number 3: Ask for help and take time off. If you are struggling and feel like you may beginning to drown under the pressure, communicate your feelings to a loved one, confidante, or professional. Asking a mentor or collaborator for help with your challenges can make the experience less isolating. Taking time off is crucial to maintaining your wellbeing and ensuring your work stress does not become a more serious health concern. Booking holidays, even if it is only a long weekend, helps you relax and rest before diving back into the grind.
Number 4: Find your daily de-stresser. There are many small daily activities or methods to help you feel less stressed. It could be a favourite tea, a tactile or sensory toy, yoga, meditating, regular exercise, or listening to a good podcast during your workday to help keep you grounded.