When most people decide to start their own business, they do so with the anticipation that it’ll give them more freedom, flexibility, and control. And while these are often byproducts of the switch, there’s also a darker underbelly that, when not properly controlled, poses a significant threat to emotional and physical well-being: stress.
Why Stress Management Matters
According to a recent report by OnePoll, small business owners lose 24 working days per year due to work worries – a number that’s costing them thousands. More specifically, the study finds that small business owners lose roughly 44 minutes of productive work time each day due to worries about the performance and security of their businesses. That adds up to 191 hours per year. And with the average owner valuing their time at $50 per hour, this means worry and stress costs nearly $10,000 per year.
In total, 41 percent of small business owners say they worry too much about their business. Roughly 37 percent say work-related stress has spoiled an important personal occasion or family event. One out of every four business owners experiences work-related stress even when they’re away from work.
In addition to the negative impact stress has on business productivity and profitability, it’s also linked to serious health problems like heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, and substance abuse. Any one of these issues can take a business owner out of commission and threaten the future of the business.
Stress can’t be allowed to fester underneath the surface. It needs to be dealt with swiftly and comprehensively. In doing so, small business owners give themselves the chance to do more with the time and resources they have.
3 Ways SBOs Reduce Stress
Stress is a highly personal matter. Some people are naturally more laid back, while others seem to be high-strung. Some people internalize stress, while others let it show. But regardless of where you land on this spectrum, it’s important that you find healthy ways to manage business-related stress.
Here are some of the steps leading small business owners implement:
1. Hire the Right People
You can overcome a whole host of issues by hiring the right people in your small business. When you have people who are talented, honest, and trustworthy, you can spend less time worrying about what they’re doing and more time focused on future growth. If you lack experience with hiring, this guide should help.
2. Automate, Outsource, and Delegate
As a business owner, you feel the need to be in control – it’s part of the reason why you became self-employed. But don’t let this desire for autonomy fool you into thinking you can do everything on your own. There’s something to be said for taking tasks off your plate so you can focus on the ones that provide the highest ROI for your time and expertise. There are three primary ways you can do this:
- Automate. The first step is to automate any tasks that you can. Thanks to the cloud, AI, and other evolving technologies, there are more automated solutions than ever before. Here are some of the best ones for small businesses.
- Delegate. Assuming you’ve hired competent and trustworthy employees, there should be nothing stopping you from delegating tasks to them. This frees you up to focus on other responsibilities.
- Outsource. Finally, there’s something to be said for outsourcing. When it comes to technical tasks like search engine optimization (SEO), working with an SEO company can save you dozens of hours per month and leave you with better results.
Learning how to properly do each of these three things will significantly reduce the pressure you feel to get everything done. As a result, you’ll finally relish the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a small business owner.
3. Adopt Healthy Habits
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. When you’re working on your business, you need to be all-in. But when you’re away from work, you should adopt healthy habits that enhance your mental and physical health.
Every small business owner will benefit from a healthy diet that’s high in fresh fruits and veggies and low in processed foods, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, and sleeping at least seven to eight hours per night.
Take Control of Your Health
Some stress is normal. But as a small business owner, you can’t let chronic stress define you. Before you know it, the physical and emotional side effects will wear you down and compromise your company’s potential.
By using other successful business owners as examples, you can reshape your own relationship with stress and reap the rewards of a more balanced life – both in your career and personal life. Don’t wait any longer!