Updated: Apr 30
Running a small business and no longer working for ‘the man’ is liberating and exciting, but it certainly comes with its own unique struggles!
As April is Stress Awareness Month, I thought it would
be interesting to look at the biggest causes of stress for small business owners, and more importantly, ways to deal with them!
Hands up, who hates paperwork?! From stock control to payroll and the dreaded self-assessment, running a small business comes with a LOT of admin! The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimates that SME owners spend nearly 18 hours a week on admin tasks. Eek!
Remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself though. Have you considered delegating to your team or outsourcing to a virtual assistant or financial planning expert? Unburdening yourself of tasks you don’t enjoy can free you up to focus on what you DO enjoy, which will ultimately benefit you and your business.
2. Money, money, money
One of the main reasons small business fail is due to poor cash flow. Depending on your skills and experiences, keeping on top of your business’s financial performance may not come naturally to you. Learning accounting basics will he
lp you make better decisions and give your business the best possible chance of success!
3. Managing customer relationships
Businesses are nothing without their customers! Sometimes customers know this all too well though and keeping them happy and loyal can be a full-time job. What can you do to make your relationships strong and easier to manage? Be crystal-clear on what you offer and manage expectations. Never over-commit, as this will inevitably lead to unnecessary stress and potentially an unhappy customer.
Provide clear channels for communication and encourage customers to give feedback, so they know you’re serious about their experience.
4. Not feeling good enough
Do you ever feel like you’re spinning numerous plates, and at any moment, they’re all going to come crashing down to the floor? Yep, running a small business can be full-on, and sometimes we just don’t feel qualified for what we’re up against!
Often the biggest obstacle is just our inner
voice, whispering that we’re not good enough or that we’re out of our depth. To fix this, acknowledge and accept these feelings of inadequacy. Tell yourself that they’re natural and just part of the learning process. Try not to rely on external validation either. Own who you are and be honest with your co-workers and clients. Most importantly, if you need help, ask for it! There are always people out there ready to support you.
5. Time management and multitasking
We often measure success by how busy we are but working incredibly long hours and multitasking is anything but productive! Studies show that constantly switching between tasks increases stress levels and reduces performance. So, keep an eye on those stress levels and make plenty of time for self-care routines and quality time off.
Simplify and streamline your processes to make your workload more manageable and consider that all-important outsourcing I discussed earlier!
I really hope you’ve found this blog helpful. If you’re interested in joining a network of businesswomen who can empathise with all of these feelings, then come and join us at one of our upcoming meetings. We would love to welcome you!