Stress is a serious problem for the small business owner and a lack of cash flow analysis is a major contributor to headaches. On top of growing and evolving a small business, the owner must also deal with the juggling act of staffing, cash flow, and long hours – among many other daily headaches. It is very easy to experience burnout along with health problems that can arise from being overly stressed. Stress can easily creep up and disrupt the ability to keep a small business running at full strength. What causes this stress and how can you deal with it?
Because stress can just creep up on a small business owner, it is important to be aware of the signs that you may find yourself facing. Some very common signs are:
- Sleep disturbances and trouble getting out of bed on work days
- An upset stomach
- Depression and feelings of being overwhelmed
David Price, managing director of Health Assured says that while working long hours is admirable, it can “lead to issues such as fall outs with colleagues, fatigue and stress. Excessive stress can interfere with productivity and impact physical and emotional health which in turn is not good for you or your business.” 71% of small business owners say that running their own business is more stressful than ever before. This stress is not only bad for your health (and your ability to function well while running a business), but the stress can also impact on your staff with employee attitudes and behavioural patterns often established from the top down.
For a small business, where many employees have a closer relationship with the company owner, an increase in stress-causing behaviours can have significant impact.
One of the key factors causing cash flow-related stress related to delays in payments for small businesses. 47% of those surveyed reported experiencing delays. While many small businesses do offer discounts for those who pay early, only 14% of respondents found the incentives to be effective.
Interestingly, stress caused by staff issues was felt by companies that maintained higher annual turnovers. 51% of respondents who ran companies that made $1 million or more per year felt staffing-related stress, while only 39% of respondents with turnovers lower than $1 million cited it as a concern.
The stress levels of your employees are also a concern that can have an impact on your bottom line. Not only does the quality of the stressed employee suffer, but it often results in them taking holiday and sick leave. Safe Work Australia reported that work-related mental stress workers’ compensation claims are “the most expensive form of workers compensation claim because they usually involve lengthy periods of absence”.
There are many ways you can combat stress in your day-to-day work, including taking some time for yourself, readjusting your expectations, and seeking professional help from a health professional.
In the longer term, it may be necessary to find efficiencies in your daily workflow. So many of your daily work practices can likely be automated through investing in the appropriate hardware or software. You can shave hours off bookkeeping duties with software that will automate the process, for example.
It is important to recognise that despite the high levels of pressure placed upon you that you’re not alone and that there is always help available.