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.

How to Build a Successful Business Culture from the Ground Up

How to Build a Successful Business Culture from the Ground Up

It’s not easy starting a business and it’s no less challenging keeping a company running successfully. But despite the difficulties you face as an owner, the rewards of managing your own company are well worth it.

You work hard to ensure your operations are efficient, whether it’s through hiring top talent, keeping customer satisfaction high or developing innovative products. You aim for business success in all of your endeavors, but it’s important to know that you need to lay the foundation for a successful enterprise.

Incorporating strategies into your business that pave the way to prosperity can be done at any time. However, you want to be sure you are giving both yourself and your employees the necessary tools to become a successful in business. There are a number of methods that can help you get on the path to becoming an efficient and strong company.

Think positive
Having a positive mindset can do wonders. Being optimistic about your business and where it’s going will certainly be contagious for your employees and customers. Small Business Trends recommends establishing a positive work environment that encourages your staff to be more optimistic about their jobs and the future of the company.

Have a solid vision in place
As an owner, you likely have a mental picture of what you want your business to become in the future. However, Business Insider suggests that you create a business growth plan that focuses on exactly what needs to be done to get to there. Having goals in place is an important part of the process, but without outlining how you are going to reach them, your business vision will never materialize.

Be a great employer
If you want great employees, you need to be a great employer. Business Insider writes that you can accomplish this by providing staff with the tools needed to realize success within your company. This can include training sessions, career advancement opportunities and rewards for hard work.

Appreciate your customers
Just as with showing your employees how much they matter, you need to do the same with your customers. Showing patrons you appreciate them can go a long way in boosting satisfaction and bringing in new customers. Business Insider suggests focusing on making your products interesting and innovative as well as giving exceptional service to patrons.

Establish peer networks
You can even go outside of your company to find an effective tool for business success. Small Business Trends states that networking gives you the ability to connect with others in your industry, allowing you to bounce ideas off of your peers and collaborate to develop new ideas that benefit your operations.

Business Employee Retainment Depends on Effective Hiring and Training

Business Employee Retainment Depends on Effective Hiring and Training

you want to do what you can to ensure you are hiring the right people and keeping your workers happy and motivated.

you want to do what you can to ensure you are hiring the right people and keeping your workers happy and motivated.

As a business owner, you likely depend on your employees for a variety of necessary tasks. Often, your resources and time are stretched thin, so relying on your staff members to get things done is something you rely on. For this reason, you want to do what you can to ensure you are hiring the right people and keeping your workers happy and motivated.

It all starts with your hiring process. Are you interviewing and offering positions to the people you want in your organization? Next, it moves to onboarding. Once they have been hired, are you doing what you can to offer them the tools needed to showcase and enhance their skills? These are the questions you should ask yourself when determining if your staff members are happy and engaged by their jobs.

Once you’ve answered them, you can then develop strategies for improving your hiring efforts as well as training initiatives you provide. Working to make these methods better gives you the ability to hire the best people and keep them happy, leading to ultimate small business success.

Businesses see uptick in hiring
Small enterprises across the United States are experiencing an increase in hiring, according to recent figures from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Out of 608 small companies, 13 percent hired an average of 3.7 employees throughout the past few months. September saw the largest boost in hiring so far in 2014, with an average of 0.24 staff members being brought on per firm, the NFIB reveals.

Developing solid hiring and training skills
This growth in hiring highlights the fact that small businesses need to put more focus on seeking out the right candidates and retaining their valuable workers.

When interviewing potential staff members, Fox Business suggests that you not only ask individuals typical job questions (“What is your experience?”, “What are your strengths/weaknesses?”) but also questions that will make them think outside of the box. For example, the source recommends asking what motivates them daily and where they seem themselves in 10 years, not professionally but personally.

Fox Business writes that you should also look for passion in candidates. If someone is passionate and excited about your company’s products and services, that positive feeling is going to reach customers as well. While an individual may not be as experienced as you would like, having passion gives them the drive they need to bring about small business success.

Once workers are on board, the focus then moves to offering training initiatives that allow them to enhance their skills. Business News Daily suggests that you encourage your staff to seek out the answers and be willing to learn more, not only about your operations but about their positions and the industry as a whole.

Additionally, the source notes that asking your current employees what type of training they would like to receive can give you better insight into what you can provide to keep them motivated and engaged.

Business Success Begins with Productive, Positive Habits

Business Success Begins with Productive, Positive Habits

Maintain a positive and motivated attitude

For small business owners, having a positive and motivated attitude can go a long way.

Being positive can have an impact on nearly every aspect of life. For business owners, having a motivated attitude can go a long way. This behavior is likely to rub off on employees and customers, resulting in a happier workplace and higher satisfaction.

Bringing about this kind of change starts with you as an owner. Introducing positive and productive habits not only benefits your daily life, but your company operations as well. Once you’ve adopted these strategies, you can then encourage your staff members to take on the same methods.

A positive attitude requires you to make small and big changes, but they will create a happier working environment for you, your employees and your valuable customers.

Big steps to a positive attitude
Certain habits can be hard to break, especially those that you have been practicing for many years. But knowing that adopting a positive attitude can positively impact your small business should be incentive enough to get the ball rolling on picking up those kinds of habits.

Fox Business writes that small enterprise owners should start with tackling their fears. Any worries and concerns you may have with company operations or your leadership abilities can be diminished simply by taking them head on. For example, the source highlights one owner who had a fear of public speaking. To get stronger in this area, she decided to teach a large class as a volunteer, reducing her fear of public speaking.

Additionally, business owners should not be afraid to fail. Failure is inevitable for any organization and things are not going to be perfect every day. Fox Business suggests that you take the time to learn from your failures, accept them and move forward. This strategy gives you a more positive outlook as you use the lessons you learned from failures to improve your business processes and procedures, leading to greater efficiency.

Smaller changes for a positive attitude
While the above strategies require a bigger change in terms of thinking and acting, there are also smaller habits you can adopt to encourage more optimism for yourself and your business.

Entrepreneur Magazine offers some tips for owners who want to instill a positive outlook. For one, focus on following your own business growth plan and stop comparing yourself to other companies. Only you are aware of your struggles, strengths and motivation, so spending time worrying about other enterprises s a waste of time.

Additionally, you can schedule activities that boost happiness, Entrepreneur states. This can be done with both personal and professional events. Having lunch during the workday with friends or hosting an after work party with your employees fosters optimism among you and your staff.

Perhaps one of the best methods to follow is to take the time to think about your accomplishments, Entrepreneur recommends. This will put everything in perspective and will give you the chance to see that you are working hard toward your goals, giving you motivation to achieve more business success.

Avoid a business disaster with proper planning

Avoid a business disaster with proper planning

A solid disaster recovery strategy should be a part of any effective business growth plan.

A solid disaster recovery strategy should be a part of any effective business growth plan.

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 cyber attack 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 small 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 CPA’s. 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.

CMO SHORT: Short Attention Spans Tank Businesses in More Ways than One

CMO SHORT: Short Attention Spans Tank Businesses in More Ways than One

Getting help to achieve moreYou need customers. You are consistently telling them you are here. But, it feels like you are yelling into the void. Wasting energy and efforts you can’t, frankly, afford to waste.

What is the glaring issue?goldfish

The average American has an 8 second attention span. (Vs a goldfish at 9 seconds)

Attention spans shrank by 50%over the past decade.

Think about that. Or better yet, let’s test it out (on let’s say) your elevator pitch. Click the timer on your cell phone and go to it. Can you even spit it out in 8 seconds, much less hope to make an impact that hooks them? Remember, today every second counts. Most likely your prospect has already lost interest, and if they aren’t physically walking away they definitely have already checked out mentally. Poof! You are just another talking head.

Primary causes of lost attention span include stress (sited by 18%) and decision overload (by 17%). Additional culprits include lack of sleep, technology overload and poor job satisfaction. I’m sure you can relate. Take this Psychology Today Attention Span Test HERE to see how you perform, because you don’t have endless attention either. As a leader though, the stakes become much higher and the causes that disrupt your attention are even stronger.

TIME MANAGEMENT HELPSharpening your skills around focus is a powerful one for business leaders and owners to “pay attention” to… pun intended. A simple and robust place to start is with Time Management. With never enough time in a day, got-a-minute interruptions by staff and business issues running rampant, technology disruptions hitting you from every direction and so on, time management skill growth is the time tested game changer for any business. Let’s get some outside perspective on how you handle time management HERE.

There are thousands of time management resources, tools and advice (1.78 billion search results) to comb through. That is if you can maintain the attention to do so. Honestly though, you are an individual. With individual needs. A system built from tested methodologies with the addition of a third party perspective to frame it specifically around you is your best option. Bend time to your will.

IN SHORT:

For your market, make your messages hit home quickly and with impact that they have to pay attention to. What moves the market.

For you, you’ll quickly find that by using time management to your advantage it will focus your mind on what matters. What moves the needle.

Onward and upward!

Shiloh Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer at CHI

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