Five ways to reduce stress for small businesses

As April is Stress Awareness Month, Business Leader took a look at the stress on small businesses and how the stressors have changed since the pandemic. In this article, we’re going to look at some effective ways to help reduce the stress on your small business.

How has covid affected the stress on small businesses?

The starting and running of a small business can be stressful enough without any additional factors as the stakes are often high and for many, it’s their first venture into business. So, in March 2020 when a national lockdown was enforced and many businesses had to close their doors for months with no vision of when it was going to end, things became exceptionally hard.

Although some businesses were still able to operate, their staff were limited or non-existent, and delivery couriers were running at extremely reduced rates. In a situation where even the biggest businesses struggled, it’s not surprising that small business owners started to panic. Simply Business carried out a study on small business owners in 2021 and found that 1.8 million experienced depression, with a huge 3.7 million experiencing stress. With the pandemic coming to an end, businesses are starting to heal but it will still be months before they’re able to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Identify the areas of your business that are causing you stress

The best place to start reducing your stress is to look at the business and highlight the areas that are causing you stress. Once you’ve highlighted them, you’ll find it much easier to manage the stress, finding clear and focused solutions. It’s worth taking pen to paper and writing out these stressors so that you can empty your mind. Seeing the stress can usually make it feel more manageable.

Having the right team behind you

Although you’re managing the business, it’s important that you have the right team behind you so that you feel supported and know that all elements of your business are in safe hands. Ensuring you have enough staff to fill the roles your business needs and they’re working an appropriate number of hours is crucial for its running. Reducing the stress on your staff will, in turn, reduce the stress on your business.

Admin is one of the most crucial parts of running a business, yet it takes up a lot of time and capacity to complete and manage correctly. Hiring an experienced admin manager even on a part-time basis could greatly decrease your stress. This person could also help out with organising events, employees and your office/premises.

Understanding the finances of your business

Your finances are at the heart of your business and you need to consistently track your income, outgoings, expenses and profits. Getting an accountant is an extra expense for your business but one that is completely worth it. Taxes and invoices can be difficult when you have no experience, and it is so important that your documents are correct. An accountant won’t only help you manage your business’s finances, but they’ll also be able to advise you on financial decisions to boost or control your money effectively.

Build a schedule & plan your days

Your small business can easily take over your life if you let it, but in order to be productive and keep your sanity, you should appropriately spread your time. Scheduling your days and assigning yourself tasks and goals for each day or week will keep you on task. By having a schedule, you will be able to see your achievements and physically see the workload getting smaller as you complete tasks.

Highlight what you’ve achieved so far

In those particularly stressful times, it can feel hard to see anything other than your current situation. Looking back at your progress could give you the motivation to keep going through the hard times and make you realise how far your business has truly come and see what you’ve achieved.

Don’t forget to celebrate the business’s achievements, no matter how small they are. Every achievement is a milestone hit and more positive progress in the right direction. You have to remember to look at where you started, what you’ve been through and where you are now.

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