Strategies to Solve Stress in Small Business

When you become a business owner, you no longer have one single job description. Instead, especially in the early days, you can be working lots of roles. With them come unforeseen challenges, often out of your control. As a result, stress can creep in – for the sake of your health, your business and your loved ones –

One way is identifying the common stressors so you can address them proactively – like the miners who relied upon the canaries to alert them of methane or carbon monoxide in the mines. The canary would die before the levels of the gas reached those hazardous to humans. In the same way (but not risking any of our feathered-friends) you need to identify your stress hazards in advance, be self-aware and manage them.


Stress for Business Owners Can Include:

A lack of control

We deal with customers, suppliers, late payers, government red tape, paperwork, team members, cash flow…the list goes on, and often it can feel as if you have little to no say. To help manage this, consider accepting that not all decisions will go your way and aim to have a positive outlook when they don’t. Appreciating your wins and accepting what you can’t control can help calm frustrating situations.

Reacting too soon

Often people react to situations without actually taking actions to better support them. Reactions are often emotionally driven and do not effectively support business decisions. To help ease the urge to react to something, take time to listen, analyse the situation, consider multiple responses to it and breathe. If it’s a good decision today, it will be a good decision tomorrow.

No time to do it all

Firstly, define what “doing it all” means. In all likelihood, what you want to get done couldn’t be achieved working 24/7 anyhow. So be kind to yourself. Acknowledge you can only do so much in one day. Accept that your health – including sleep, exercise and eating habits – contributes to your overall professional performance, allowing you to better manage your day-to-day stresses. Budgeting time to work out, allocating certain hours for family and / or friends only and choosing not to check emails during certain hours of the day are all proven ways to help manage a busy workload and eliminate stress.

Cash Flow

The largest small business stressor is cash flow uncertainty: what sales are coming in, knowing that bills and employees need to be paid. The first step is to look at improving systems and structures so you can feel more confident in your cash flow: shorten your receivables period; identify payment disputes fast; maintain great customer relations to minimise such disputes; look at ways to take payments up front; and watch your accounts payables closely.

Other small business stressors include

  • isolation and lack of social supportmatt Alderton, Bx, Business fr Life
  • presenteeism where you continue to work even if you aren’t well, because if you are away the business doesn’t happen
  • long hours which may be even a bigger problem than in the corporate world
  • blurring of boundaries between home and work
  • business failure, which also carries a suicide risk

Systems and support go a long way to easing the stress burden on a small business. I recommend joining a business group where you can meet other owners and discover they are battling their share of stresses too. Often it is the ‘business success’ mask we assume when things are tough that can cause the greatest damage. That’s why at Bx we are so passionate about building a community of business owners who can learn and grow together through their shared experiences.  

There’s loads of tools to get your website working harder and your marketing to get results. Bx coaching can help you find the right tools for your business and pave the way for your success. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program..

Getting Ready to Change Starts with the Decision to do so

Dear readers, it’s time for some tough love. It’s the second month of the new year, and no doubt many of you have big plans for how you want this year to be different. This is the year you’re going to achieve new success, reach your financial goals and grow your business by x percent. Fantastic, I love the positivity and determination.

But, are you actually doing anything about it?

In the past year of coaching business owners, I’ve noticed an alarmingly common pattern. Clients come to me full of ideas and talk about how they want to achieve x, y and z. Yet, when it comes time to commit to attending coaching calls or personal development events and to putting new ideas and approaches into practice, there is resistance. “I don’t have time to make the webinar this month,” they say. “But we’ve always managed things this way,” comes the reply to an alternative suggestion.

Keep doing Matt Alderton, Bx, Business for Life, B-xponentialwhat you’ve always done, and you’ll keep getting the same results

Sorry guys, but success isn’t going to magically land in your lap. If you want to get different results, you need to be prepared to change your approach and try new ways of doing things. Ultimately, change is a choice. You need to decide to change direction or change what you are doing. You need to be willing to push through any barriers and discomfort that might be in your way.

Because ultimately, change is inevitable, whether you actively seek and embrace it or not. Your business is not operating in a vacuum. Competitors are constantly progressing and threatening your territory. Technology advances and enables new ways of doing things that you hadn’t imagined just a short time ago. By doing things the same way, at best your business will get the same results and stagnate; at worst, you will become irrelevant and eventually obsolete. Imagining the outcomes of not embracing change can sometimes be the motivator you need.

The three P’s of change

Instigating a change in our lives involves focusing on three key areas: the people around us and who we interact with; our psychology and the programming of our mind; and our physiology, including how we think, act and express ourselves.

  • People: Seek out mentors to learn from and be open to different ways of thinking. Spend time with people who display the attributes you wish to develop in yourself, and identify successful people whose behaviour and habits you can model from.
  • Psychology: Remember to take time to pause, stop and clear your mind. Focus on the right now, not the past and the future. Taking slow, deep breaths can help to bring you back to the moment, rather than worrying about what you should have done or should do later.
  • Physiology: Try visualising the behaviour and results that you want to achieve, and then articulate this as positive facts in the present tense. Physically, act and move the way you would if you were achieving what you wanted.

Are you ready to stop talking about making changes and start making them? With our Business for Life coaching program, we’re ready to help you beyond talking and into action. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.