Four Tips for Small Business Stress Management

Whether it’s the stress of running a business, taking care of loved ones or working for someone else, stress breaks us down and impedes our ability to be productive and fully engaged in life. But there’s a lot we can do to stop stress in its tracks and turn worry and tension into triumph.

Where stress starts

Think about your most recent experience of stress – maybe it was hearing some unexpected news, siting down to pay bills or realizing you missed a deadline. Acting on impulse and perceiving danger, your brain cued your body to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, resulting in a higher heart rate, muscle tension, and quickened breathing.

In the instances where there is indeed a physical threat, this impulse serves us well. But when our perception of stress triggers an exaggerated response of our body’s fight or flight reaction, it can negatively impact our emotional and physical health and our ability to be our best. The key lies in identifying what situations we can manage proactively to find a healthy balance.

Identifying work and life stressors

In the US, 66% of workers feel they do not have work-life balance and small business owners report that managing their business is more than four times more stressful than raising children. And yet, there’s no real way to get around some business stress – it’s part of being human.

Small business owners face big small business challenges: budgeting, productivity/sales, inventory, equipment and operations, and employee issues. Environmental issues are a concern, hitting many businesses bottom lines and security threats remain a rising hurdle. Differentiating one’s business from the crowd is also an ongoing stressor, since marketing is now a 24/7 undertaking.

Here are a few ways that common issues can be diffused and reimagined, opening up opportunities for a better way of doing things:

  1. Money issues – They plague us all, but fearing the worst doesn’t help the numbers. Creating a working budget that you return to regularly, setting aside funds for growth or rainy days, and being realistic with what is working for your expenses is the most important part of not letting money fears rule you. Look for smarter ways to spend and save here.
  • Lack of control – Whether it’s inventory delays, equipment breakdowns or employees that lack reliability and productivity, there’s only so much you can manage yourself. Create contingency plans for when operations and productivity are interrupted and learn to delegate by letting others know what is expected of them.
  • Prioritize what’s most important – Start by accepting that you can’t do it all. Just because we get information 24/7 and think others are doing everything and then some, resist being overloaded. Stay focused on your key business and mission statement, and if you’re trying to be all things to all people, cut it out. Use our planners to help prioritize
  • Invest in stress busters – If you can identify places where you can manage business stress, do it. Investing in reliable, secure office equipment, timesaving software and technology, in good people and a positive working environment are all smart ways to beat stress before it starts.

Mind what matters

Above all else, be a good steward for your own health and welfare. Your profit margin, project deadline, or kitchen remodel will mean nothing if you’re not around to enjoy them. Foregoing vacations, working overly long hours, or constantly putting others’ needs before your own can result in poor health, premature burnout and resentment at worst, and poor performance/productivity at best.

Daily, make sure you get enough sleep, eat properly, and partake in regular exercise. Avoid information overload by deliberately turning off your phone and reducing social media intake. When you take the steps you need before stress takes its toll, your business and your life will benefit and thank you.

Document Solutions of Springfield is proud to be the Xerox MFP and copier technology dealer serving southwest Missouri for over 25 years. With over 37 years of Xerox technology experience, our goal is to provide the community with the latest products, solutions, technology trends & other means of information and help your company make educated business decisions.

Our job involves helping clients answer questions and find ways to achieve success by improving efficiency, productivity, and controlling costs.  

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