Reducing Stress and Burnout Leads to Ultimate Small Business Success

Reducing Stress and Burnout Leads to Ultimate Small Business Success

Nearly every job is stressful at certain times. Whether it’s meeting tight deadlines, creating dynamic presentations or dealing with unruly customers or employees, workers experience stress in a number of ways.

For small businesses, stress is a common occurrence among owners and staff members. Enterprises often lack the resources and capabilities of their larger counterparts, and therefore have to handle many tasks at once rather than delegating them to certain departments or outsourcing them to other companies.

This causes stress levels to rise and can eventually lead to owner and employee burnout if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are many methods that, as a small-business owner, you can implement to reduce stress and keep everyone happy, healthy and motivated.

1. Revise your habits: Everyone has a habit of how they do things, and this also pertains to work. While some habits are highly effective, others may be slowing you and your staff down. USA Today suggests taking a look at your daily work habits and changing them to become more efficient. Altering your commute or taking extra, smaller breaks throughout the day may bring down stress levels.

2. Log off email after work: In the age of smartphones, work is now always in the palm of our hands. However, checking email after you and your employees have left work interferes with any personal or relaxation time. The Washington Post recommends that owners and staff members refrain from sending and answering emails when not at work unless it’s an emergency. Keeping work-related emails in between working hours helps you and your employees unplug and unwind.

3. Lean on other small business: In many cases, taking the time to talk to someone about stress and possible burnout helps alleviate problems. Finding other small-business owners who understand and have experienced what you are going through helps you build a strong support system, Fox Business states.

4. Get to the gym: Working out is a great stress reliever. Spending time in the gym can help you work out frustrations and clear your head, writes USA Today. Encouraging yourself and your staff members to get active helps reduce stress levels and avoid burnout.

5. Spend time with your family: As a small-business owner, you may have had to sacrifice time with your family to get work-related responsibilities taken care of. Unfortunately, this contributes to stress and leads to burnout too often. Fox Business recommends setting aside time each week to spend with family that helps take your mind off of work and gets you in tune with your loved ones.

You can also take advantage of business coaching services to discuss ways in which you can make your small company an enjoyable place to work by engaging staff and keeping yourself and your employees motivated, happy and loyal.

Just like any other task, putting practices in place to decrease stress takes time and effort. However, by implementing strategies for you and your employees to get rid of stress, your operations will reap the benefits of a more energized workforce, leading to small business success.

Ecommerce is Where Small Business Success Lies

Ecommerce is Where Small Business Success Lies

Small Businesses are known for being positive for community advancement – they are involved in their communities by establishing strong relationships with patrons and networking with other industry professionals in their regions. Most smaller companies do a good job of maintaining their local reputation, but with the emergence of the Internet, these enterprises have more opportunities to expand their reach outside of their communities.

While small companies still bring in a significant part of their revenue from local customers, they can miss out on increased sales and clientele by ignoring their Web presence. Ecommerce presents a greater chance of small business success as it allows owners to attract new patrons from all over the country.

However, before embarking on the ecommerce journey, there are a few things that you, as a small business owner, should keep in mind to ensure your Internet operation is delivering the results you want.

Ecommerce not prevalent among small companies
The fact that small businesses are not as invested in the online sale of their products and services as their larger counterparts shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, smaller organizations don’t have the budgets of large retailers and therefore don’t have the same amount of resources.

On the other hand, the Web has become an extremely helpful tool for organizations of every size, and small companies should no longer ignore the use of the Internet in their business operations.

According to a recent study by MasterCard, the cost of the necessary technology appears to be the largest obstacle standing in the way of smaller enterprises and ecommerce efforts. Forty-six percent of respondents cited this as the No. 1 reason for the hesitation to adopt ecommerce strategies.

Another main reason was a lack of knowledge on how to sell products online, as 31 percent of owners gave this reason for their slow adoption of Internet sales strategies for their companies.

Use big data to make ecommerce work
However, none of the previously mentioned reasons should hold small businesses back. After all, when weighing the costs of adopting the needed software and hardware against the revenue that online sales can bring in, it should be clear how this strategy can lead to small business success.

Small Business Computing spoke with Kevin North, CEO of ecommerce analytics firm Terapeak, and he stated that big data can play an important role for small business ecommerce. Implementing this technology doesn’t mean that small companies need to spend large amounts of money, North said.

Taking the time to shop around to find the right deal and the right technology to fit your needs will help you adopt the best ecommerce strategy for your company. Big data gives you insights into what your patrons prefer and how you can shape your online sales methods to grow your operations.

The payoff will be increased revenues, higher customer satisfaction and ultimate small business success.

Avoid Business Disasters with Proper Planning

Avoid Business Disasters with Proper Planning

When starting your business, you mapped out everything you wanted to achieve and the steps to take to get where you wanted to go. Now that your company is up and running, you most likely still have a plan in place to deal with your organization’s growth. But what about if disaster strikes? It doesn’t happen to every enterprise, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen to yours.

A solid disaster recovery strategy is part of any effective business growth plan. Even if a disaster never occurs, it will give you, as an owner, peace of mind knowing that you have something in place to keep your operations running. Even though developing a disaster plan may sound daunting, all it takes is some research and preparation to create a strategy that will stand throughout any possible disaster.

Business disasters can range from natural occurrences, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or floods, to more technical issues, such as a cyberattack or data center loss. Whatever the case, getting a plan in place now means your business can recover more quickly and efficiently should an emergency happen.

– Assess the various risks: Businesses that are located in the Southeast United States may not have to worry about extremely cold weather conditions possibly disrupting their operations every year, but they do have to worry about tornadoes. Companies in every region of the country have to deal with various weather-related disasters that happen in their areas, so figuring out what could potentially throw off your enterprise for a few days is the first step to determining how you can handle them, suggests the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.

You should also take the time to assess any technical dangers, such as information loss due to hackers, the source recommends. This will help you lay out the proper protocols for recovery.

– Create a business continuity plan: Crain’s Detroit Business states that companies need to develop a strong business continuity plan that outlines what steps will be taken in case of an emergency. The source also recommends that you determine which staff members will be in charge of which responsibilities so that employees know who to reach out to.

– Take a look at your systems: Looking at the systems you have in place can help you poke holes in anything that could be severely impacted by a disaster, writes the Minnesota Society of CPAs. Do your employees have a way to work if your company’s Internet is down for an extended period? What if your facilities are damaged? Is there somewhere else you can operate out of while recovering? These questions can give you more insight into improvements that can be made to your disaster recovery plan.

Whatever the disaster, whether it’s weather-related or tech-based, you need a plan to get your operations back in line should something occur. Also, having your employees provide their advice and input on the strategy ensures everyone is onboard and prepared for anything that happens.

Time is Money: How to Increase Business Productivity

Time is Money: How to Increase Business Productivity

There is one ingredient that every owner, worker and company needs in order to realize business success: productivity.

There is one ingredient that every owner, worker and company needs in order to realize business success: productivity.

There are many moving parts within a business. Whether it’s hiring talented employees, developing innovative products and services, or effectively reaching out to customers, each aspect is vital to operations. However, there is one ingredient that every owner and employee needs in order to realize business success: productivity.

Without productive staff members, processes and procedures, organizations may run into issues with completing important tasks and reaching their established goals. Therefore, it should be one of a business owner’s top priorities to encourage productivity and efficiency throughout the company. By making productivity a focus, owners can motivate their staff to help streamline operations and bring about success.

Make productivity a collaborative approach
Becoming more productive as a business owner may start as an individual effort, but in order to bring about change within the entire enterprise, employees need to adopt the same mindset.

There are several habits that both owners and employees can adopt to boost productivity. In an article for LinkedIn, human resources and strategy consultant Jappreet Sethi stated that writing out a plan – whether the task is big or small – is the first important step. By doing this, you and your employees are able to see the various steps and procedures that have been laid out. Additionally, this provides you with a blueprint of your goals as well as clear path to completion, Sethi wrote.

He also suggested that you, as an owner, and your employees come up with a time frame for the completion of each step and the project as a whole. This puts a system into place that allows you to monitor how much progress is being made and which tasks still remain. Sethi stated that time management is one of the most important components for productivity and it’s essential you and your staff members make a list of priorities to ensure time is being spent wisely and critical tasks are being completed.

There are many strategies that owners can follow, such as business coaching, to implement productive practices within their organizations. But in the end, owners and employees need to work together to become more efficient.

Be mindful of productivity habits
Productivity requires owners and employees to think through their work and stay on top of what needs to be done. However, there are other aspects that as an owner, you need to be mindful of if you want to make your business operations more efficient. Business 2 Community recommended letting go of the need for everything to be perfect. A lot of time can be wasted by trying to make every process error free.

In addition, B2C suggested that owners forget the old way of doing things if a new practice is more effective. By taking feedback to improve current procedures, productivity can easily be boosted and business success can follow.

Make Workplace Optimism Widespread for Ultimate Business Success

Make Workplace Optimism Widespread for Ultimate Business Success

Businessmen with smiley faces

Whether it’s from an owner or an employee, being committed to a job is key for business success.

Hard work and dedication go a long way within a business. Providing customer service, creating exciting products and reaching out to potential patrons are all tasks that require motivation. Whether from an owner or employee, being committed to the job is critical for business success.

However, there are times when being motivated is not enough. Being happy and optimistic about work is also helpful in order to achieve real results. Fostering these feelings within a business environment can sometimes be difficult, but not impossible. By focusing on making employees happier and more engaged, you, as an owner, can ensure that your staff members are putting forth the effort to see your company thrive.

Small businesses more optimistic
Optimism is being felt nationwide by small businesses, according to a recently released report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index revealed an optimism uptick in May among companies participating in the poll. The Index now stands at 96.6, which is a 1.4 point increase from April. It also represents the highest level of optimism by small businesses since September 2007.

Contributing to the increased positive outlook are expectations for the economy to continue to improve. Small business owners also have plans to hire more employees based on an anticipated jump in sales revenues.

Based on these results, it’s clear to see that business owners are steadily gaining more confident in various company-related conditions. However, if you want to see realize ultimate success, you need to make it a priority to boost optimism among your employees.

Creating an optimistic working environment
As an owner, you already know that if your employees are not happy with their jobs, your operations can suffer. Fortunately, there are many strategies that you can follow to bring optimism into your enterprise.

Perhaps one of the best ways, as suggested by Business Community, is to always be optimistic, as the feeling is often contagious. By doing this, you are leading by example. Being positive about your work and your business goals will certainly rub off on your staff members.

B2C also recommends allowing your employees to be more creative in their roles and give them the freedom to frequently provide feedback and offer their opinions on business aspects when necessary. This can be accomplished by sitting down with each worker and talking through their suggestions, or by using employee assessment tools to gather their thoughts.

There are other ways to spread optimism throughout your company. TheNewsReports.com suggests providing workers with the opportunity to improve their skills or learn more about the business and its goals. You should also take the time to acknowledge accomplishments and highlight when excellent work has been done. This makes staff members more optimistic, not only about their jobs, but about the company as a whole.

How to Effectively Manage Employees to Achieve Business Success

How to Effectively Manage Employees to Achieve Business Success

Effectively managing different kinds of personalities can help a small business owner achieve success.

Effectively managing different kinds of personalities can help a small business owner achieve success.

When it comes to staff management, as a business owner you have to know how to deal with many different kinds of people. This is a very delicate skill that takes time to develop, but it is critical to the success of your organization if you want to have an effective workforce that contributes to the growth of your company.

Employee personality tests are helpful in identifying the many different kinds of employees that exist. But whether you use this method or not, Inc. Magazine states that there are five traits – anger addicts, narcissists, passive-aggressive, gossipers, guilt trippers – that every owner must be on the lookout for. These individuals can make things difficult not only for you as the leader of the company, but for other members of your staff as well.

However, the first step in effective management is being able to accurately identify the personalities. Once this occurs, it becomes easier to not only prepare for what these individuals bring to the table, but also in knowing how to mold them into being valuable members of the organization. Failure in this area could have serious implications for the business, but mastery of this skill will make you more prepared on how to deal with similar individuals in the future.

Employee personality traits to be on the lookout for
Of the five difficult personality traits, two could pose the most difficult challenge. The first are those who enjoy gossiping. These individuals can make a work environment become toxic very quickly. Inc. suggests not to get caught in the trap of participating in such trivial talk and instead, nip it in the bud as soon as you see it.

Not only should this help limit future incidents, but it also presents an opportunity to turn the behavior around and encourage the employee to use their gift of gab in a more positive manner.

The other type of individual to be mindful of is the one who always seems to be perpetually angry. The magazine suggests quickly informing them that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstances. However, this also a chance to uncover the deeper reason for such emotional and negative outbursts, and a savvy leader can use this as an opportunity to forge a bond and a deeper level of trust and admiration between themselves and the disgruntled employee.

Don’t leave anyone out
Obviously the primary theme of this article is in dealing with difficult employees, but it’s important to understand that other staff members need to feel as if they’re important as well. The Guardian writes that it is very easy for workers to feel as if they’re on the outside looking in, so it’s imperative as an owner to know how to handle these individuals as well.

The newspaper says that there are a number of different factors that can cause an individual to feel alone inside of a workplace, and awareness of these issues can strengthen anyone’s leadership skills. Small-business ownership presents many challenges, but with the right people skills, you can develop an effective and productive staff that can help an organization grow.