Running a business is a fruitful enterprise and brings many people joy, but business owners also deal with a significant amount of stress.
There are a number of factors behind this, but chief among them is the workload.
Business owners are constantly trying to adapt their monthly template for reports, or find new ways of bringing in money.
Owners also need to be cognisant of their employees’ needs, and be there for the people who work for them.
The responsibility and the non-stop nature of being a business owner can lead to prolonged periods of stress.
We look at the major stress factors owners face and share some tips on handling stress.
Stress Factors for Business Owners
There are a number of reasons why owners get stressed—we outline these below.
Too Many Tasks
When you run your own business, you don’t have the luxury of not doing something because it isn’t your job. Essentially, everything is your job.
This is especially true in the initial stages of running a business, when you don’t have the capital to invest in managers.
You end up with too many items to tick off your task list and not enough hours in a day to do them. Unsurprisingly, this leads to a great deal of stress.
In the service industry, such as in restaurants, scheduling your employees can be a major cause of stress.
Many business owners are investing in the gig economy—bringing in larger numbers of workers only when there are more clients.
But this constant manual scheduling is a major stress factor—it requires the owner to be switched on at all times, and it makes it difficult for employees to arrange their lives, leading to resentment.
Contacting employees for last-minute shift changes is also a stress factor—owners use a variety of tools, including Skype alternatives to connect with people, but it is still a manual process.
One of the chief stress factors for anyone running their own company has to do with finances.
Most owners put in a fair amount of their own capital, or get loans against their assets. Others find business partners or investors, who they are answerable to regarding profits and losses.
Referring to finance tips is an important step for owners, but the first few years of running any business, particularly a restaurant, are very hard—profits take at least a couple of years to build.
Taking Work Home
When you own a business, you are never off the clock. Right after proposing a project, you have to decide who you can partner with, where the initial capital will come in, and how to turn a profit.
Having to take work home occasionally is frustrating, but every day? That undoubtedly causes a great deal of stress.
As a result of having a heavy workload and taking work home, business owners rarely have good work-life balance.
There are also a number of tasks that can only be done away from the office—podcast marketing, for instance, would be better achieved in the quiet of a home, rather than in a busy office.
Not being able to spend time with family, or take a break, is a significant cause of stress.
Tips for Tackling Business Owner Stress
We know what causes stress but what can owners do to decrease their stress levels? Here are some tips.
Organise Your Day
Being organised is a major stress-buster. Doing repetitive tasks like creating a task list, cleaning your desk, or arranging a spread sheet on email deliverability is a great way to loosen up.
And being organised also helps your mind think clearly, making you more adaptable to the tasks that lie ahead.
Invest in Technology
Have an event you want to publicise but don’t have the design skills for it? Use a flyer maker to create attractive flyers.
In the restaurant business, there are a number of tools that owners can use to schedule their staff and communicate with them, many of which won’t break the bank.
Ask for a Helping Hand
The workload on business owners is tremendous, and as much as owners want to do everything themselves, it often isn’t possible.
We have mentioned the usefulness of technology, but sometimes you can also ask for help from the people you know.
Is a friend a great designer? Perhaps they can help you create your restaurant menu, so it looks attractive and functional.
Doing everything yourself will lead to burnout, as well as diminishing sales. If you need help, ask for it—it will be better for your overall health and your business.
Take Short, Mindful Breaks
As a business owner, it isn’t possible to take a real break—you could be on vacation but still have to answer calls and queries from managers and employees about your ecommerce sites.
Instead of trying to take a long break—that will end up not being a break at all—take short, meaningful breaks.
Do some meditation for five minutes ever half hour or so. Take a moment to check your personal messages and emails. Walk around the office or outside when you can.
Shorter breaks will rejuvenate your mind and help you de-stress.
You are working long hours and are switched on all the time; you deserve a little treat. Take an afternoon away to head to the spa, buy yourself a gift, or just sleep in on the weekend.
Be aware of your body and mind’s needs and treat yourself accordingly.
Banish Stress from Business Life
Understanding the reasons why business owners become stressed helps you find the best ways to tackle stress.
The above tips should be a good starting point to battle stress so you can enjoy being a business owner.