Being a business owner can mean a lot of pressure — sales, deadlines, finances, and employees are all ultimately your responsibility. And in 2020 with the impact of coronavirus and lockdowns on the economy, business operations and people’s mental health, it’s more important than ever than you can manage your stress levels well. If you’re a stressed business owner then follow these four tips to get into a better headspace.

Take time out

When you’re running your own business it’s easy to find yourself working 70-plus hours per week, especially if you’re working from home. It’s important to clearly define your working day and try not to let it blend into your evenings and weekends. Set working hours and try to stick to them as much as possible, and make an effort to switch off outside of these hours. Of course, you might need to be putting in more hours here and there, but you need some time away from the business to clear your head and lower your stress levels.

It’s equally important that you take some extended time off every now and then. Big holidays might be out of the question at the moment, but you can still take a day or two off work to reset your thoughts and come back fresh and ready to deal with business.

Optimise your business operations

One of the biggest stressors for business owners is finances — especially at a time when most of the world has shut down over the last few months. Now is a good time to look at how you can save money and optimise the way your business is operating to ease some of the stress.

Use software and tools to automate your process and avoid wasting time — this can help with everything from marketing and customer service to accounting. Hiring an accountant is also worth considering if managing your finances in-house is causing you stress.

Project management software like Asana helps ensure projects are done on time and within budget. And time- tracking tools will help you to see how staff are working and ways in which this can be improved.

If you have to drive a lot in your business then a fuel card like the Applegreen fuel card can help you to keep fuel costs down and track what you’re spending. Use iCompario to compare different fuel cards to find the best one for your business.

Include exercise in your daily routine

Exercising is one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety — working out will release chemicals into your body called endorphins that trigger a positive feeling. So working some exercise into your daily routine is a good way to reduce your stress levels, plus exercising can also help you focus and increase productivity. This doesn’t have to be an extensive workout, but a half hour run or early morning yoga session can be a good way to start your day.

Manage your workload

It’s a natural part of being a business owner that your schedule is always full and there often won’t be enough time to get everything done. But it’s important to know how to manage your workload — you should prioritise your to-do lists, and delegate tasks wherever possible.

As the business owner you don’t necessarily need to be personally undertaking every aspect of running the business. If you’re the only person in your business then consider outsourcing some of the work to freelancers or hiring someone. You can find reliable freelancers for all sorts of work including design, admin, and sales, on sites like Upwork.

If you do have employees then make sure you’re delegating some of the day-to-day tasks. Your role is to be leading the business and working on overarching projects, not to be involved in every single meeting. And if your workload still gets too much, ask for help — get your employees to contribute their ideas or collaborate on projects.

These are just some tips to help you manage your stress levels. The most important thing to remember is to ask for help if it’s getting too much. As a business owner it’s easy to be completely consumed by your work, but now more than ever you need to be aware of how to manage your stress levels and ensure that you’re taking care of yourself as well as the business.


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