When you let stress into your life, its unpleasant friends come along for the ride.
Survey after survey shows that the biggest sources of stress are work-related pressures and money – two factors small business owners and entrepreneurs are all too familiar with. Between winning new customers, managing employees, and keeping an eye on cashflow, it can feel next to impossible – and almost irresponsible – to take a break.
Be that as it may, failing to pay attention to your stress levels isn’t just harmful for your personal health. It’s harmful for your business’s health as well. But reducing stress isn’t as simple as a hot bath or a few breathing exercises. To prevent entrepreneur anxiety from harming your company, you’ll need to make some concrete, systemic changes to how you do business.
Master The Art of Delegation
You’re overwhelmed, and it’s likely because you don’t trust anyone to do a good enough job.
In the early days when it’s just you, this is a necessity, but once you start hiring people it’s vital that you delegate effectively.
So how do you do that?
For starters, delegating doesn’t just mean assigning. You want the responsible party to come back with the kind of work you’d do yourself or even better.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate big tasks. While you should definitely start with low-risk tasks to gauge an employee’s competence, be prepared to pass on bigger responsibilities down the road.
- Take your time hiring. Don’t hire sporadically. Hire strategically. Consider the areas where you’re lacking and find people who can strengthen your organization by adding to your existing skill set.
- Be open to different methods. Avoid micromanagement. If you hired carefully, you have capable support. While you should certainly set company standards, keep an open mind when presented with different ways of operating.
Establish Formal Processes So Your Business Can Run Without You
Establish formal processes and best practices as soon as you can. Systematizing work that you perform intuitively is frustrating, but it makes delegation easier and helps you scale faster. Once you automate daily operational tasks, you can easily onboard new employees and focus on the strategic aspects of your business.
This isn’t only helpful for reducing your day-to-day workload. It also minimizes the anxiety every entrepreneur feels about the sustainability of their business. What if you need to take time off? What if you get sick? If there’s ever a situation where you need to miss a week (or you simply need a break) you can leave confident that there’s a tested infrastructure in place to keep things moving until you return.
Take Vacations and Set Hours To Create Work/Life Balance
Forget those articles that say entrepreneurs have to work 18 hour days, seven days a week. What was necessary in the early days of your business doesn’t have to become your guiding principle. Set work hours. They don’t have to be only eight hours. Even if they’re long there should be areas of your schedule set aside for a guilt-free time to do whatever you please.
The same goes for vacations. Even if you don’t wish to spend money on airfare or a fancy trip, take time off.
Still not convinced? Consider this: Not only do breaks prevent burnout, they make you a better leader and strategic thinker as well. Research shows we think better and find solutions when we’re relaxed and away from the task at hand. Simply going to the gym or spending time with your family may unlock the answer to a work-related problem you’ve been puzzling over.
Purchase The Right Insurance
Business owners are risk-takers, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune from fear of the unknown and when it comes to entrepreneurship there are several unknowns. What if your competitor comes up with a better, cheaper model of your product? What if you lose a key member of your staff? What if a vital piece of equipment shuts down?
You can’t prevent everything, but you can prepare for most scenarios, especially those that stand to jeopardize your business.
Purchasing the right insurance guarantees you can stay in business if the worst happens. The “worst” can be different things depending on your business. Options like property insurance, vehicle insurance, and life insurance can provide you with the peace of mind you need to focus on the here and now.
Protect your mental health by recognizing signs of stress and taking them seriously. Your company depends on it.
Zensurance is Canada’s leading online commercial insurance broker. We offer a full range of insurance products to small businesses, with a particular focus on digitizing businesses and technology startups. We understand what it is to work with new technology, and know the most common risks of which you should be aware. Based on that (and a lot of analytics), we recommend the ideal insurance coverage for your business.
Neya Abdi is a startup storyteller who covers innovation, marketing, business development, and customer engagement. Her limitless curiosity drives her to learn how organizations progress from idea generation to successful implementation in order to delight customers, make positive social contributions, and generate revenue. She lives in Toronto.