small business owners relieve stress

5 Fantastic Ways Small Business Owners Can Relieve Stress

5 Fantastic Ways Small Business Owners Can Relieve Stress

As an entrepreneur you probably have had friends or former colleagues say, “You're so lucky to be doing your own thing”. Yes, the experience of owning your own business and seeing your ideas materialize is extremely rewarding. However, the reality is that being a small business owner is extremely stressful, especially when you are starting out.

According to the 'Small Business Owner Report' May 2012 by Bank of America, most owners regarded managing the success of their small business as more stressful than maintaining healthy relationship with spouse or partner, and raising children.

Several factors contribute to your stress as the owner of a growing business.

Financial Security. Starting a business shakes the financial security you had when you were an employee. Your have invested your personal savings in the business and you still have bills to pay. You want to start paying back money borrowed from family and friends. You feel the pressure of getting the cash register rolling as soon as possible.

Multi-Tasking. As the startup owner everything depends on you. You are the CEO and are responsible for sales and marketing, production, supply and distribution, pricing, promotion and customer service. Even if you work from home it can be difficult to tune-off.

Facing Unknown Challenges. You desperately want to impress the new client, but are unable to meet the promised deadline because the only other person working with you just called in sick; you have a bulk customer order and are expecting a shipment of products today, which gets delayed by several days due to a natural disaster. As an entrepreneur you are always dealing with new challenges that need your immediate attention.

Long Work Hours. Most entrepreneurs put in more than the standard 40 hours a week. The business is your baby and no matter how tried you are, you need to be there for it. Even once your business is established and you start to make steady income, nothing is a guarantee. You need to be constantly creative at generating new revenue streams.

This infographic from Bolt Insurance captures consequences of constant stress associated with business ownership.

Fine Line: Work Life Balance infographic

To be successful at managing your business, you need to be successful at managing the associated stresses. Here are 5 ways to battle the stress:

1. Learn to let go

According to Anisa Telwar, the owner of cosmetic brush company, who started her business at the age of 26 in 1992, "The one thing I wish I would have known when I started my business was that I did not have to be the smartest person in the room. I learned that it was impossible for me to do it and know it all. In order to grow my company and increase its value, I was forced to let go". Hire the right people to work with you and learn how to delegate effectively so you can focus on what you do best.

2. Seek a mentor

Founder and CEO of Jodi's Gym says, “I would say find a great mentor, someone who has already been through the many challenges of being an entrepreneur.” Connect socially with other local startup CEO’s to share the madness of owning a business.

3. Don't fret when you are not busy

There will be times when your business is not busy enough. Instead of feeling super anxious about the momentary fall in sales, identify ways of moving the business forward. Focus on getting new clients and reconnecting with old ones, plan a new marketing campaign, develop a new product/ service, build your social media strategy and update your blogs and website.

4. Use technology to free up your time

Use online applications that can reduce the manual effort and save you time. For instance, business management software can help you schedule client sessions, automate client reminders, reconcile client billings, automate invoicing and generate expense-revenue reports valuable business insights.

5. Schedule weekly downtime in your calendar along with everything else

Block time in your weekly calendar to unwind, whether it is for playing your favorite sport, meeting friends, or planning quality time with family. Do the same for planning your annual vacation.

As an entrepreneur stress will be an unavoidable part of your daily life. Learn to manage the stress and you will improve your ability to manage your business.