Stress is a major concern for more than three-quarters of small business owners – hardly surprising given the demands of running a business. In fact, stress is something many entrepreneurs thrive on, driving them to achieve the next goal.
I like to differentiate between “good stress”, the excitement that comes from having to rush to achieve difficult goals, and “bad stress”, which is the excessive worry that comes when dealing with too much – often never-ending minor problems that distract you.
It is this sort of bad stress that I often find grinding down business owners, their health and often their family life too. To give you an example, let me tell you about John, a contact of mine, who had to put his business on hold temporarily after being signed off with stress.
Sick with stress?
John had built a solid and successful events business; things had been going well and he was in demand. He recruited staff to help, but when it came to client service and delivery, John didn’t trust his staff to maintain his standards. In fact, he was concerned that his staff would put his business in jeopardy.
Rather than trusting the team he built, John was running around at a hundred-miles-an-hour meeting clients across the country, while also checking up on staff and looking after the business admin, making sure invoices were sent and paid, and keeping tax receipts up to date.
It wasn’t long before the pressure of managing customers and staff as well as doing the admin became too much. After taking medical advice, John decided to take a short break from work.
Trusting your team is the first step towards relieving stress. This comes from clear processes, clear direction and resisting the temptation to be a micromanager.
An important part of this is using technology to help improve processes, making them faster, easier and systematic. In fact, there are so many free and low-cost apps that ignoring this is a costly mistake not only for your health but also your business.
Allowing your invoices, expenses and other financial paperwork to pile up in the corner for months is a prime example of a job that creates stress if not tackled systematically. If left, a job that should take a few minutes each week while everything is fresh in your mind becomes an enormous and complex task.
So if you are suffering from the wrong sort of stress, with too much financial paperwork giving you sleepless nights and long hours, give me a call and hear about how Ozlop has helped business owners like you get this important area quickly and easily sorted… so that is one less thing for you to worry about!
David Vine – small business specialist and Managing Director at Ozlop.