5 Tips to Reduce Financial Stress as a Business Owner
A new national survey by Bromwich+Smith reveals that “fear of the unknown”, “unexpected health challenges” and the notion that “things have changed forever” are weighing heavily on the collective consciousness of Canadians. When looking back on the last six months, and towards the uncertain future. 17% of small business owners said that “the collapse of my small business” would cause them fear. Fear causes stress and stress is not an ideal situation for a small business owner. Here are five things you can do to reduce fear and stress in your small business.
#5 Keep Track. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like you need to do more, save more, sell more etc. When you track progress you can clearly see you wins and celebrate them! Tracking also let’s you see any shortfall in your budget. Tracking is empowering as it gives you concrete information to make very informed decisions for your business, will alleviate some financial stress and put you back in control. Celebrate every win! It releases endorphins which are great for combating stress. When you’re in better spirits, you’re better able to make the right decisions and choices to grow your business.
#4 Create an Emergency Plan. Part of the stress of a business owner is not being prepared for surprises like a rent increase, supply chain delays or a global pandemic. These things cannot be predicted or avoided and generally turn in to high stress, urgent situations. Knowing you have an emergency fund and an emergency plan will dissipate any stress that comes along with an unexpected expense. Some emergencies are beyond anyone’s emergency fund and that’s where a plan of action becomes your security net. All you need to do is execute the plan, which is much less stressful than coming up with the plan in the middle of a crisis.
#3 Put Business Systems in Place. Nothing beats the personal touch, however, if you must touch everything in order for it to be done, done right and put out in the world your business is very limited. One individual only has so many hours in a day, so much physical, mental and emotional strength. Stress will creep in very quickly, especially as you start to grow your business. Putting systems and processes in place that allow you to take breaks, to have certain business functions take place with or without you is the key to growth and to stress relief. What can you outsource? Can you bring in employees or consultants? Can you automate certain parts of the business? McDonald’s may not make the best burgers, but Ray Crock created a system that could easily be duplicated and took a little mom & pop burger shack to international levels. Systems will set you free as a business owner – stress free!
#2 Make Self Care Sacred. It’s easy to put in 20 hour days, burn the midnight oil and be thinking about your business 24/7. Successful entrepreneurs have tenacity and grit and it’s the difference maker in your business and for your clients. Grit is great! However, grit without self care will eventually lead to burn out. Create small time blocks for self care and treat those appointments as sacred. It could be taking a 20 minute walk in nature daily or a relaxing bath before bed. It could be a small get away for a weekend every three months or a spa day. It can be as big or little as your time and money budget permit. The key, is to carve out that time to reset, to reconnect, to unplug and unwind. The saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup so be sure to fill up your own cup so there’s more for you to give to your business and the world. Self care relieves stress and brings more creativity and productiveness.
#1 Seek professional, objective and timely counsel. As a small business owner, you’re accustom to wearing various hats; HR, Marketing, Customer Service and more. It can be challenging to ask for help or bring in other professionals. The most successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with a team of professionals so each can focus on their areas of strength and you can focus on your business. You can take business courses, join mastermind groups, seek out a Financial Planner who specializes in small business.
When business debt is mounting, profits are dwindling and the stress is rising, reach out to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. There is no upfront feet, and you will find an empathetic federally licensed professional at Bromwich+Smith. Seek out your options, take time to make an informed decision and take action – action cures fear, action leads to solutions, action leads to hope.
*From September 23 to September 25, 2020 an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,510 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.