Many of us women ventured into starting our small businesses to escape the stress of a corporate job and to gain more control over our time and careers. However, being the boss introduces a unique set of stresses that only a small-business owner truly understands. Managing finances, handling employees, and meeting customer expectations can all elevate our stress levels. Surprisingly, even business growth can contribute to significant stress. Here are three ways to manage stress in the small-business environment:
1. Make Two Lists. Feeling overwhelmed with numerous tasks and not sure where to start? That can be a major source of business stress! It's time to make a list and jot down everything that's adding to your stress. I suggest creating two columns: Business and Personal. List your tasks under the appropriate column.
Often, we believe our stress originates from the business, when, in reality, personal issues might be the root cause. Reflect for a moment on the ongoing issues. What can be modified or resolved? Addressing concerns becomes easier once you understand the whole situation.
Next to each item in the business column, indicate its priority and the estimated completion time. If there's a task you can finish within the next hour, tackle it! It'll provide a sense of achievement and prepare you for upcoming tasks. For everything else, plan when you'll address it and set aside time on your calendar. If you schedule a self-meeting, you're more likely to complete the task!
2. Talk It Out. It's astonishing how a chat with a close friend can lift one's spirits. In fact, numerous studies confirm that conversations can decrease stress. Discussing your business challenges not only alleviates stress but might also help you discover solutions. If you converse with someone experienced in business, they might offer valuable advice. Why not have coffee or lunch with an empathetic listener? Considering professional guidance? Think about hiring a business coach.
3. Understand Your Financial Picture. At times, you might intuitively sense when your business isn't performing optimally, which adds to your business stress. Maybe there's decreased store footfall, you find more free time, or sales don't meet expectations. Things just don't feel right. However, to genuinely master your business, you need a clear understanding of your monthly earnings. This requires creating and reviewing your profit and loss statement each month.
Comparing your profitability across different months, quarters, or years enables you to gauge your business's health. It assists in identifying potential improvement areas. Should you boost your revenue? Reassess your pricing strategy? Are costs rising too swiftly? Recognizing the issue often alleviates stress, as identifying the problem is often the most challenging step toward resolution.
In conclusion, the entrepreneurial journey, while exhilarating, brings its own set of challenges and stressors, especially for women business owners navigating a complex landscape. But remember, you're not alone. Leveraging simple strategies, like those mentioned above, can make a world of difference in managing stress and ensuring your business thrives. As a business coach dedicated to championing women entrepreneurs, I believe that with clarity, communication, and a solid understanding of your financial health, you can harness the potential of your business while maintaining your well-being. Remember, every challenge presents an opportunity for growth. Embrace it, learn from it, and let it propel you forward.
Facing the challenges of business stress? Let's tackle it together! As a trusted business coach for women entrepreneurs, I'm here to guide, empower, and strategize with you. Ready to manage stress and thrive? Connect with me, and let's embark on this transformative journey together!