How to make your small business run more smoothly & with less stress

By Henry Brown

According to a recent survey, 48% of small business owners are currently experiencing burnout or excessive stress levels. While many have accepted this as part of their job description, it’s essential to understand that prolonged stress and burnout are a recipe for disaster when it comes to running a successful business. This is due to the fact that it impacts your focus, concentration, and productivity levels, which inhibits your ability to do your job and keep your customers happy. 

As a result, it’s important that you’re able to identify the cause of this burnout and eliminate it where possible. In many cases, burnout is the product of being overworked or trying to do 100 things at once. This means that streamlining your processes, or finding ways to make your business run smoothly, is a great way to get started. Here are some top tips to get started.

Build a strong team. Small business owners are often keen to take on as much work as possible, as they are passionate about making their business succeed. However, this does not (and should not) mean you do everything alone. As your business grows, there’s simply too much work required for it to remain a one-person job, especially if you are noticing an increased customer demand.

As a result, you should focus on building a strong team so that you can delegate tasks fairly. Think carefully about who you welcome into your team so that you’re able to assign specific tasks to people who are most qualified to take them on. For example, if you want to improve your marketing and keep your brand in the spotlight, bring in a marketing expert.

Reduce employee burnout too. The chances are, if you are experiencing burnout, your employees are on the same path. As a result, it’s important that you find as many ways as possible to reduce this. For example, you should strive to make sure that employees are not overtasked and that they have enough time in the day to complete all of their duties – without being forced to work overtime. Studies also suggest that employee burnout can be tackled by showing your staff that you care about them. 

Streamline your payments. If you find yourself drowning in invoice and payment plans on the daily, then you must find a way to streamline the process. Not only will this reduce your stress levels, but it will also help you to keep track of your finances and reduce the chances of you making any financial mistakes. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available to you when it comes to improving cash flow. For example, you could use a payment optimization solution that enables you to automate and streamline invoice payments.

Outsource admin work.  According to a recent study, the average business owner will spend between 5-6 hours a week on admin. While it’s important to keep on top of these duties, it’s hard not to think of better ways to spend this time – such as working on developing new products or even cultivating a better work-life balance. However, there is a straightforward solution for this issue, and that’s outsourcing. Not only is outsourcing cheaper than hiring a full-time employee, but it also means you’ll be able to get on top of your admin in no time at all. This will not only save you a job but will also make it easier for your clients to communicate with you/your business, as they’ll receive a much quicker response to any inquiries.

Start putting together a to-do list. While it may not seem that way initially, keeping a to-do list is a great way to ensure your business runs smoothly, as it gives you a chance to stay organized and on track. It also helps you break down your day into separate sections so you can ensure that you dedicate the right amount of time to each project without mistakenly spending too much on one task. Ideally, you should write a new to-do list each morning, prioritizing urgent tasks or those with rapidly approaching deadlines.

While it may be tempting to set aside the biggest or most complex tasks until later in the day, it’s actually far better to get them done first thing in the morning. This is due to the fact that we are typically more alert and focused in the morning than the afternoon, when our minds may begin to wander towards evening plans or what we are going to have for our dinner.

Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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