You didn’t start your small business simply because you want to survive — you did it because you want to thrive. The problem for most small business owners is that their businesses are like their babies. That makes it challenging to ever truly step away from work, even though taking the time to walk away for some rest and relaxation is exactly what you should do to avoid burnout.
Time off won’t solve all your burnout problems, though. You must also implement systems and adopt practices that make managing your business a little easier. Here are some tips to help ensure that burnout doesn’t creep up on you:
What Is Burnout?
You’ve probably heard this word thrown out a lot, but it’s important to recognize that burnout is a real phenomenon, and as a small business owner, you have a high risk of experiencing it.
Burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. When you feel overwhelmed, unable to meet endless demands, and emotionally drained, then you eventually lose motivation to keep your small business going.
Adopting strategies to help you deal with burnout can help you to feel better and work smarter. They are critical to the success of your small business.
The day-to-day administrative tasks you oversee have to be organized; otherwise, it’s a one-way ticket to Burnoutville. Disorganization only serves as a distraction from running your business, which is why it’s important to take time to get all of your files and processes in order. You may also want to consider software that can make staying organized easier. This small step can reduce the stress that eventually leads to burnout.
There are a million tiny things you must do each day to run a business. It’s easy to get fixated on the number of things you need to accomplish and start to feel overwhelmed. But the good news is that not everything needs to be done at once. Track your tasks and break them up into smaller, more manageable pieces based on how important they are. That way, you can focus on just a couple of things at once and complete them more efficiently.
Schedule Time Away
It’s important to schedule breaks and vacations as if they were important meetings you simply must attend. Even scheduling a 30-minute break into your day in which you can take a walk is a great start. In time, these small breaks will fit naturally into your day-to-day business and will pave the way for more significant time off, such as that Hawaiian vacation you always wanted to take. And don’t forget — time away applies to your employees too!
Learn to Delegate
One of the most essential skills a small business owner needs to help them prevent burnout is knowing how to delegate. Learning how to do this effectively can help you deal with the aspects of your business that can be the most draining, demanding, and distracting.
As the owner, it’s understandable that you feel responsible for each aspect of your business. After all, it does ultimately fall on your shoulders. But delegating other responsibilities to team members you trust can help you dedicate yourself to higher-level decisions and tasks.
Explore Your Options
You’re lucky to be a small business owner, but you’re equally lucky to be a small business owner in a time where technological marvels are right at your fingertips. If you can combine some technologically savvy business practices with other practical tips, then you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to burnout avoidance.
Financial technology, or “fintech,” is here to help you utilize cutting-edge technology to help manage money smartly. Fintech companies offer products that can help you streamline and more effectively manage everything from marketing to payroll. This technology effectively opens up the world as far as finances and logistics go, enabling people to travel and complete transactions relatively unrestricted. Just a few examples of things fintech can do for your small business include:
- Cloud-based accounting: Cloud-based fintech services, one of the biggest trends in accounting technology, integrate accounting and banking onto one platform for small businesses. They also make it possible to receive credit card payments from customers, pay bills online, and perform ACH transfers. Essentially, they help you to monitor your finances easily and budget effectively without much knowledge of accounting.
- Easier payroll: If you’re looking for software to help you with payroll, invoicing, payments, and accounting for your small business, then you should explore the variety of fintech products out there.
- Invoicing: Many invoicing platforms allow you to create and track invoices, receipts, and estimates while also allowing you to accept credit card payments from customers. Track expenses and income through bank connections and receipt scanning, both of which can help to speed up accounting tasks and tax preparation.
- Manage customer relationships: You can find several fintech products that offer apps to help owners manage books, build custom apps, and provide customer service. You can also use customer relationship management systems to survey customers, automate marketing, track visitors, and automate sales. Many products are mobile, so they can be used anywhere.
- Outsource difficult tasks: Sometimes, outsourcing tasks to the experts is money well spent. One option can be if you're a tech service that's trying to get SOC 2 compliance as potential clients to require this certification to sign a contract with you. You don't have the time or expertise to get everything in order for the audit team so you pass with flying colors.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business owner who hasn’t faced burnout. But the good news is that you can not only survive it but integrate strategies to deal with it that make your business run better. In the long run, this makes for a thriving business and a stress-free business owner.
Indiana Lee is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys writing about personal finance, social justice, and politics. You can find more of her work at on Contently at indianaleewrites.contently.com.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.