The only thing small about running a small business is the name. As a small business owner, you know how to handle the stress of running your business. But what happens when the cause of stress is far outside of your control?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses hard. If you’re feeling lost, know you’re not alone. Many small business owners like you are facing similar anxieties due to the pandemic.

Follow our tips below to find out ways to help your business — and yourself — deal with the stress caused by COVID-19.

Can Your Business Thrive During a Pandemic?

Yes! There are two ways you can use the pandemic as a way to help your business:

  • Transform new processes, products, or tools.
  • Optimize your existing systems.

The tools you use will depend on your type of business. An offline business like a coffee shop, for example, might introduce online ordering. An online retailer, on the other hand, might want to optimize its order fulfillment process and reduce expenses.

3 Ways to Manage Business Stress

When you think of stress, you probably imagine an individual, but businesses can experience stress, too. Try these three steps to help relieve some of the stress on your business.

  • Commit to Protecting Data

The pandemic has caused some businesses to move online. This means a lot of client, business, and employee data is being shared in a remote setting.

Protect your client and employee data with secure software and tools. By investing in cybersecurity tools and secure programs, you reduce the chance of a data breach.

  • Embrace Digital Transformation

One good thing to come from the pandemic is the abundance of tools helping businesses go digital. Digital programs, like video conferencing and online sales software, are in high demand. This increase in demand means that there are a lot of resources to help you implement digital solutions.

Look for tools that will help your business run more efficiently. Digital processes and task management tools, for example, can help free up time so your team can focus less on repetitive tasks.

You might want to choose a team member or hire a consultant to lead the transformation. They can look through your business processes and suggest digital options that help reduce the manual work needed to complete them.

  • Optimize Existing Systems

Transforming your business isn’t the only way to reduce stress. You probably already have some tools and processes in place that could be improved. Audit your current systems for areas of excess waste or time consumption.

For example, let’s say you invested in task management software to help your team manage tasks. You pay for the full version of the program, but you only use features found in a lower-cost version. You could save money by switching to a lower subscription without losing the functionality of the program.

3 Ways to Manage Personal Stress

A great way to reduce stress on your business is to reduce your personal stress as well. Lowering your stress levels can make you a more effective leader to your team. These three simple tricks will help you destress so you can better serve your business.

  • Organize Your To-Do List

Have you ever looked at your list of tasks and felt completely overwhelmed? It’s a common plight of small business owners. To combat the feeling, you’ll need to prioritize your to-do list. Break each task into levels of priority and tackle the most important tasks first.

You can further break up your task list by making a monthly, weekly, and daily list. Set small daily goals of which tasks you want to accomplish so you can enjoy crossing items off your list.

  • Start Exercising

Stress can cause you to lose the joy of running your own business. Starting an exercise regime can help remove some of your stress, so you can go back to being excited about your business.

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the doors for a lot of online exercise classes. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can add a short yoga session or high-impact workout into your day. If you prefer exercising outside, try adding in a walk at lunch or go for a run when you’re done for the day.

  • Take Time Off

Sometimes the best way to beat workplace stress is to take a break. That doesn’t mean you have to go on vacation for a week, either. Simply giving yourself an hour to watch some TV or stopping work at a certain time each evening could help reduce your stress. You’ll be able to return to your work refreshed and ready to tackle your task list.