It’s been a tough year to be a business owner. Whether you’re starting a new business, trying to keep an established business afloat, or racing to keep up with pandemic-induced demand, COVID-19 has kept business owners on their toes — and on edge.
In a recent Comcast survey, 65 percent of small business owners admitted to being stressed due to the pandemic, while 68 percent said they’ve lost sleep over the crisis. That’s not surprising when 86 percent of respondents lost revenue as a result of COVID-19 and most expect it to take more than six months to return to business as usual.
With no light at the end of the tunnel quite yet, how can business owners keep their stress in check while staying on top of this ever-changing economy? Let this advice from Goldlilys Media help you manage stress and anxiety while guiding your business toward lasting success.
Know Your Goals
The pandemic has demanded a lot from business owners. They’ve changed how their staff works, how they deliver products and services to customers, and in some cases, even changed what their business produces.
With a million things to do in order to adapt to the current economy, it can be hard to know where to start. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, step back and prioritize everything on your to-do list based on strategic goals so you move forward with a mission.
Streamline Your Workflow
Do you struggle to find time for strategy because you’re so bogged down with day-to-day tasks? Automating repetitive tasks like bookkeeping, invoicing, time tracking, and scheduling clears up time in your schedule for more important items. There are even tools to streamline customer service, email marketing, lead generation, and other complex business processes.
If you can’t automate it, outsource it. That’s a good rule to live by when it comes to skilled jobs that aren’t directly related to your business’s product or service. For example, many small businesses only need an accountant a few times per year. Outsourcing to a CPA is much more cost-effective than hiring a staff accountant.
Marketing and web development are two other commonly-outsourced jobs. Since a full digital marketing strategy requires a variety of professionals including a web developer, graphic designer, and UX designer, among others, outsourcing is more efficient than hiring in-house. When you work with a web developer like Goldlilys Media, you’ll also get a custom website and support that outperforms any DIY solution.
Now that you’ve freed up time in your schedule, it’s time to squeeze in some self-care. Regular physical exercise is one of the most important things you can do to reduce stress and improve your mental health. You might not have time for your usual gym regimen right now, but you can still find time for a good workout with the help of mobile apps.
Consider your experience level when choosing a fitness app. If you’re new to fitness or out of practice, an app like Pocket Personal Trainer that includes a plethora of different workout tutorials, easy-to-follow exercise routines, and meal plans will be the best fit.
Use Healthy Stress Relief
After using apps to get your heart pumping, look for one that can help you wind down. Calm and Headspace are two popular mental health apps that guide users in meditation, mindful movement, and other centering practices. For a gamified approach to self-care, try Happify, which uses fun activities to promote gratitude, empathy, and healthy living.
Learn to ’Clock Out’
Work-life balance has always been challenging for small business owners. The pandemic has made maintaining that boundary even harder as business owners relocate to home offices and grapple with the changing economy. However, there’s never been a more important time to protect your personal life.
Establishing office hours, setting realistic expectations, and creating email and phone boundaries will help you mentally disengage at the end of the day so you can enjoy the "life" part of the equation too.
Your business demands a lot of attention right now, but don’t neglect to take care of yourself too. By practicing self-care and streamlining your work with automation and outsourcing, you can access the time and energy you need to achieve success.
Guest Post by: Carla Lopez
Carla Lopez kept her entrepreneurial spirit even after retiring a couple of years ago. She created Boomerbig.org for retirees who still desire to work and achieve - a site that offers business resources for people in their golden years.