17 Stress Management Tips You Need As A Business Owner
Everybody faces stress at one time or the other.
Sometimes these stress levels can be so high that it becomes dangerous to our physical health, mental health or both. However, nobody faces more stress than managers who have to task, guide and motivate other people and themselves towards achieving a common goal.
Whether you are managing a school, a business, a financial account or someone else’s business, if you do not learn the skill of stress management, you might have some serious problems in the long run.
Before I move further, let me tell you a little story about how my uncle built his empire. I am only telling you what I was told, so please don’t blame me if some of the words sound exaggerated because grownups do that a lot.
My uncle was sixteen years old when he left Enugu for Kano, Nigeria. According to him, he wanted to be the first businessman who went to college from my village. However, fate didn’t smile on him because his father who worked for the Nigerian post Office passed on in 1970.
It had a chain reaction effect on the financial capacity of the family, and soon the family of six began splitting to go serve different people in different parts of the country.
Flash forward to the year 1975, my uncle had diligently served his master in Kano for 4 years and settled with an agreed sum to start his spare parts company.
Soon, he started attracting many customers and was barely meeting up with this rush.
He complained a lot about the stress and how he had to leave the office so late at night with so much money that it was becoming too dangerous.
My father, his brother, told him to hire some extra hands and my uncle did. Barely four months later, my uncle reported that his workers quit because of the stress. Surprising isn’t it? Of all the things that could go wrong in a business, my uncle was saddled with stress as a problem which could even cripple his business if taken for granted.
To cut the story short, my uncle employed fifteen people and had them work in shifts, he also employed a deputy manager to help him organize things in the office while he took some time off once in a while. He also expanded at the right time and moved to a bigger working space, today my uncle’s estate is worth over 600 million Naira and I am not even exaggerating.
So, my friend, stress management can give you a very epic success story, one that somebody will probably write about someday. Moving forward, let me now give you the tips on how to easily manage the stress involved in your business and still achieve success.
1. Identify Your Stress Trigger
Everyone has a stress trigger and the first step to managing your stress levels is to first identify what causes it. In my uncle’s case, what triggers his stress was the fact that he was the only one doing the job of fifteen people. Isn’t that just suicidal?
He was able to discover the cause of his stress early enough and made the necessary changes to the structure of his business.
As a manager, you need to first identify what stresses you, then strategize on how to deal with the problem. Try to take note of these situations and events. Once you have identified them, assign a good team to do that job or try to minimize the workload on yourself.
2. Promote Leave and Breaks
You need to encourage your employees to take leaves when they need one. Also, make sure that your employees go on breaks during the day.
Ensure you give employees a workload that is in line with their ability and resources. Boost social interactions by organizing company-sponsored picnics, where employees can bring their families along.
3. Find Activities That Help To Minimize Stress
Once you are starting to feel stressed or worked up, you can find activities that could help you to relax even at work. Once you start feeling stressed, take a break. There is no wrong or right way to relieve stress, and whatever does the job for you is worth going for.
There are conventional methods of relieving stress – taking a break to listen to some music can be very helpful when you are trying to relieve yourself of stress. It doesn’t matter the genre of music you love, as long as it makes you happy, play it and vibe to it. Another conventional method of relieving stress is meditation, meditation can help to bring down your stress levels.
You can learn different techniques of meditation online or through a yoga coach. Deep breathing and physical exercises are also common alternatives for relieving stress.
4. You can’t always be perfect
You need to come to terms with the fact that nobody is perfect. Chasing perfection is a sure way to raise your stress level to a dangerous height. Sometimes, you might just need to settle for “good” rather than beating yourself up to obtain perfection. Chasing perfection wastes valuable time and creates tension, which can be very toxic in your relationship with your employees.
5. Talk To People About Your Stress
Generally, burying emotions such as anger, love, stress e.t.c, isn’t very healthy. My uncle was smart enough to understand that this stress issues could really harm his business if not taken seriously. If you are faced with a similar problem, please do not take it for granted. Talk to friends or family about your stress issues and look for support.
You will find that just talking about your problem will help to relieve the stress a bit. Family or friends can also recommend a means to help you deal with the stress. This was what my father did to my uncle. He provided pieces of advice as a form of emotional support when he complained about this problem.
6. Switch To A Healthier Lifestyle
This tip is valuable to everyone, not just business owners or managers. If you want to keep the body fit for work, you have to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Adopting a healthy lifestyle simply means exercising and eating well. The body operates similarly to a cell phone.
The way you use it will determine how long it would last. Your body deserves rest sometimes and you should oblige if you do not want a sudden breakdown. Breakdowns or sickness can be very devastating for you as a sole-proprietor. This is why you should take care of yourself. Go for a balanced diet and avoid too many fizzy drinks. Also, do not forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
7. Create Family Time
According to my uncle, the worst mistake any manager, business owner or entrepreneur can make is to make his life revolve around his work. You must always create time for family and yourself. Every other thing in life can fail and crash, but family will always be there for you because blood is thicker than water.
No matter how important or demanding a project is, resist the urge to sleep at the office. Step back, close the file, and head home to your family. You can never substitute the value of family for anything. Dinner with them can help take your mind from work.
8. Minimize Your Workload
According to experts, all those typical traditional managerial duties aren’t just only unhelpful, but they are quite irrelevant and unnecessary. As a manager, it is not OK to do everything yourself.
This is a common misconception – “managers should be responsible for everyone and every part of their firm”. It is important to note that the best managers aren’t the ones that try to do everything themselves rather, the best managers are those managers who can organize a team and collaborate well with this team to achieve a common goal.
You can not know everything and once in a while, you will need the help of other people. No man is an island. Learn to minimize your workload by distributing it evenly amongst your employees.
9. Focus On One Goal at a time
As a business owner, it is very easy to set more than one goal and expect to reach both of them at the same time. Sometimes, such goals might not be consciously set but once they are set, you begin to struggle and strive to reach them.
There is already a commitment. Learn to focus on one goal at a time, take one project at a time and try to put your best into it. After you are done, you can move on to the next one. Better still, you could delegate other tasks to other people and oversee the final stage of the project.
10. Seek Help
Seeking help doesn’t make you weak. Rather, it shows that you are willing and able to admit it when you need assistance. This is a vital personality of a good manager. A good manager is able to identify problems that he cannot handle alone.
Once you notice that you are stressed, pause, take a deep breath and ask for assistance from a partner or an employee. Remember that your mental health and physical health should come before any business project.
11. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries for yourself simply means drawing imaginary lines that will separate work from personal life or pleasure. These boundaries will help to set a line that you cannot cross no matter what. It is very essential for managers to set boundaries in their relationships with employees and business partners.
This is internal set rules that we give ourselves to help us stay in check at all times. Boundaries can help keep us sane or conscious of ourselves especially when dealing with business associates.
Boundaries align our priorities, behaviours you will and won’t accept. The time frame for business activities and when you need to take some time off.
12. Positive imagination
Science has proven that positive imagery can help to relieve stress. The greatest power you have over the mind is the ability to choose what you think about.
Once you are starting to feel stressed or depressed, think about positive outcomes, good memories or you can let your imagination go wild. So you can replace your negative thoughts with positive ones that will lift your spirits.
This is one of my favourite tips because there is a belief that you must stay up 24 hours in order to succeed. I would like to clear this misconception. Depriving yourself of sleep can be very dangerous to your mental and physical health. No matter what, always try to get some sleep especially at night.
If it is mandatory that you stay up at night, do not forget to get some sleep during the day even if your body doesn’t feel like it. According to scientists, our bodies need a minimum of 5 hours of sleep to function properly during the day.
Do not believe all these people who say you must stay up all day in order to make it in life. Yes, you must work hard but work hard during the day, once the sun gives way for the night, your body deserves some rest.
14. Let someone else handle the books
While running your own business requires some degree of financial knowledge, it’s not given that you’ll be able to run the books yourself.
Managing your business’ finances can be time-consuming, and there’s also a lot of room for error.
Having someone else manage your accounts will free up your time and give you peace of mind that everything is being handled correctly.
Outsource your bookkeeping to help take the pressure off and avoid financial problems.
15. Bring in a marketing expert
Marketing is essential for a new business to help get it off the ground.
But without strong marketing experience, things could go very wrong.
Hiring a marketing expert will let you benefit from their experience of delivering successful campaigns. It will also help introduce your business to a wide audience.
Hiring a marketing expert can be an affordable solution for your business. It’s worth exploring the possibility to see where it could lead.
With so many tasks to take care of in your new business, you could soon face the strain.
But bringing in some outside help can make things easier, and help your business look more professional.
16. Know when to outsource
Outsourcing work can be a vital solution for new businesses.
Not only can it free up some of your workloads, but it means that you can get experts to fulfil roles you might only have a basic grasp of.
Some of the things that small businesses should outsource include administration and payroll to help free up your time to focus on the business itself.
Outsourcing can tide you over until your business grows enough to hire staff on a permanent basis, and it can be useful for when you only require these processes on an ad-hoc basis.
17. Get the right IT solutions
Having the right IT solutions for your business’ needs is important.
It can help to make sure you’ve got the right security options in place, while also making sure that you have the right equipment and support in place.
IT can be very complex, which is why it’s useful to bring in outside help. It’s worth investing in IT consultancy for business as this will help manage all of your technology needs. While there is a cost attached to this, it’s one worth paying to know that everything is taken care of.
Setting up a new business can be tough. There’s not so much that you can do on your own. When you run your own business you’re expected to fulfil many roles, including the boss, the accountant, the HR manager and more.
This can put a lot of strain and stress on you as the business owner and can make things overwhelming. If neglected, stress can become a very serious issue and can affect the productivity of your firm. You must learn to draw a line that would separate work from personal time.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. These solutions are available to you to ease the pressure on your new business and get you off to a great start. Besides, you might not be the only one dealing with stress, your employees might be faced with the same problems as well.
So, here are some tips to help reduce stress generally in your firm and free up your time to focus on taking the business forward.
I hope this helps you to manage the stress involved in your business.