Reduce Business Stress

By Susan Martin

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all of my years as a business owner and business coach is that there’s a heck of a lot of stress that goes along with running a business. As a result, many business owners have a really hard time making things work and feel as though they have to sacrifice time and time again.

There’s stress around money. Stress around deadlines. Stress around customers. Stress around employees, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture…

Getting that stress under control is one of the most significant challenges facing business owners today. It’s also one of the best things you can do for your business and for yourself.

It doesn’t have to be hard to eliminate some of that stress, here are some simple steps to help you do just that:

  1. Revisit the reasons you started the business. Why did you go into business? What were the things you loved about it? What had you hoped to accomplish? Get back in touch with those things now and make sure your daily activities include the things you really want to be doing and that you enjoy.
  2. Get your business finances under control. Don’t be an ostrich! Face up to what’s happening with your cash flow, receivables and payables. Take action to remedy any problem areas before it eats you up alive.
  3. Create a personal game plan to take care of yourself while you’re getting things under control. Most businesses produce casualties and often those casualties are to the business owner. We’re the ones who have to sacrifice on a myriad of fronts: you take no money when things are tight, you lose out on time with friends and family when work has to get done, you skip the gym or exercise class because a deadline has to be met. But, how long can you sacrifice before it catches up with you? Take time to create a personal game plan to take care of yourself so that you don’t burnout.
  4. Enhance your sales and marketing skills.  No business can survive if it doesn’t have enough sales, period. And, the businesses who find it easiest to succeed are the ones whose owners have good sales and marketing skills. Sure, salespeople can help, but if you’re serious about achieving business success and reducing your own stress level, don’t risk the future of your company by ignoring these essential skills.
  5. Improve time management and productivity.  It’s the rare business owner who doesn’t need an additional 10 hours in the day. If time management and productivity are an issue in your business, take action to make sure you’ve got this critical area under control.
  6. Replace crisis management with strategic planning. If there’s one thing that really creates stress and backfires on you it’s the lack of planning. Many business owners feel they’re too busy to stop and plan. For some “shooting from the hip” has become a way of life. As a result, they get caught in the vicious cycle of crisis management. They’re so busy putting out fires, that they never do any fire prevention. If this sounds familiar, please, take some time to do some planning right now. It’s possible to stop the cycle if you put your mind to it.
  7. Create systems and procedures to manage growth. Without them, things quickly get out of control. No company can grow properly if they don’t manage what’s going on. This crucial area can make the difference between success and failure. From managing production to dealing with money, employees, inventory or whatever; every business needs systems and procedures to help them manage growth.
  8. Eliminate the personal issues affecting your business, and the business issues affecting your life. It’s hard to get your business under control if your life is out of control and vice versa. Deal with the problems that exist in all areas of your life, and you’ll find your stress level will drop dramatically.
  9. Get your business on track and stay there! If things have gotten out of control, it may seem like it’s impossible to change them, but take it from me it’s not. Get centered, take time out and start developing a plan to get things back on track. You’ll soon find that the stress starts to melt away.

Want to find out more about how business coaching can help you reduce the stresses of business ownership? Learn more about work life balance coaching.

©2004-2010, Susan Martin, Business Sanity. All rights reserved. No duplication without written authorization.