Starting a business of any size will inevitably lead to a certain amount of stress. Unfortunately, there’s not much anybody can do about that. It’s just part of the journey.

That said, there are many strategies you can use to help manage your stress and stop you from burning yourself out. 

If you feel like you’re having trouble managing your stress levels as a small business owner, then try out these small business stress management techniques: 

  • Celebrate your wins.
  • Organise your workload.
  • Organise your environment.
  • Stick to a schedule.
  • Take actual breaks.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Try helping others.
  • Don’t feel bad about saying “no”.
  • Manage your finances with accounting software.

Celebrate your wins

As a business owner, a lot of your time will be spent solving problems. For that reason, it’s easy to focus on the negatives, but concentrating on the negatives alone is a surefire way to stress yourself out. 

It’s important to remind yourself of all the things you’ve done right so far and give yourself some well deserved praise. Try making yourself a weekly checklist, and make a point of checking something off whenever it’s done. Keep the checklist in a visible place so you can remind yourself, at a  glance, of the things you’re doing right. 

No matter how small, celebrating your victories is a great way to give yourself a vital confidence boost while alleviating some of that built-up stress. 

Organise your workload

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer size of an enormous task. But all large jobs, whether you’re running a business or climbing a mountain, are completed the same way – one step at a time. 

Organise your workload by splitting things down into smaller tasks, ranked from most to least urgent, then start working through them one at a time. You may end up with a long list, but don’t let it intimidate you. Just take them one at a time, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you make progress. 

Organise your environment

Your working environment can have a significant impact on your mental state. For example, working in a messy, unorganised workspace will make you feel just that – messy and unorganised. 

Alternatively, a well-organised and tidy workspace will have a positive effect on your mind. As long as your environment is working for you, not against you, you’ll find it much easier to manage daily stress, 

But it’s not just the workspace itself that makes a difference. Sometimes, the act of cleaning and tidying is enough to reduce stress levels. One of the major causes of stress is a lack of control, so the simple act of organising your environment will help you gain back some of that control. 

Take actual breaks

By far, the simplest and most commonly ignored piece of advice is to take breaks throughout the day. 

A lot of business owners feel guilty about resting when there’s still work to be done, but the truth is that overworking yourself is counterproductive in the long run. You’ll just burn yourself out, and your business will suffer. 

A ten-minute break every hour is a good start. It’ll give you a chance to rest both your body and your mind, allowing you to tackle the rest of your work with a fresh pair of eyes. 

If you’re sitting down for most of the day, make sure you use your breaks to move around to improve blood circulation. 

Try helping others

It’s common to fixate on problems that are stressing you out. That kind of unhealthy fixation is difficult to avoid, but it’s not doing you any favours. 

One of the best ways to reduce your stress is to shift your focus to other people. When you’re thinking about how to help others, there’s less time to worry about your own stressors. 

Distracting yourself like this is a great way to take your mind off stress while letting your brain rest, allowing you to look at the problem later with a fresh pair of eyes. You might find a simple solution that you couldn’t see before because you were obsessing about it. 

Don’t feel bad about saying “no”

Just like taking breaks, a lot of small business owners find it difficult to say “no”, whether it’s to clients, vendors, or potential business partners. 

Particularly in the early stages, many people feel they can’t afford to pass up any opportunities. But that kind of thinking isn’t sustainable forever, and it’s important to shake the habit as soon as it’s no longer necessary. 

Once you’re in a position where you can be a bit more selective, ask yourself the same things every time you get a new request: 

  • Will this help me get where I want to go?
  • Could this time be better spent doing other things?

Identify stress triggers

It’s impossible to avoid stress entirely when running a small business, but you can control how you react to that stress. 

After gaining some experience, you’ll know what sort of things stress you out. Then, you can better prepare for them by:

  • Outsourcing them. 
  • Improving your skill in that area. 
  • Using tools to make life easier for yourself. 
  • Preparing yourself for the stress with breathing exercises. 

Take the stress out of financial management

One of the most stressful parts of running a small business is constant financial management. And with a whopping 29% of businesses failing because of cash flow issues, it’s no surprise. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Find out more here.

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