My favorite part of our annual Small Business Owners Growth Summit is getting the chance to really sit down and talk with business owners from across the country.
Conversation frequently turns to what we enjoy most about being entrepreneurs, and the answer is the same 99% of the time — the freedom.
Yet I recently read an article that stated only 55% of small business owners (SMBs) are “extremely happy” (Entrepreneur).
I just can’t stand for this! So if you are in the other 45%, then keep reading!
Sure, stress comes with the responsibilities of the Big Boss Job, but there is SO MUCH we can do to minimize that.
I don’t mean to brag, but I stay mostly stress free (emphasis on the mostly) and am very happy with where I am in my life and career. I thought about what I do to make my life easier and compiled a list of the habits I follow to stay sane and happy at work and in life.
1. Learn to Delegate and Shed Those Hats! This is THE most crucial thing you’re ever going to do as a business owner if you want out of the day-to-day grind. Find the executives and managers that really stand out, the ones that step up and take responsibility not just for their own post but for the overall interest of your business, and let them OWN their position. Grant them the freedom to make decisions without you and let them mess up. No, they aren’t going to handle everything 100% the way you would, but it’s okay. They will care and do well and most importantly they will totally own their position, and the trade off for you is having so much more time on your hands.
2. Systematize Your Marketing. I can’t tell you how many SMBs do these once-in-a-while marketing blasts that create some response, but then it’s over. The rush happens and then once the dust settles – blah… no more new biz. Sound familiar? This leads to stress. Focus on setting up recurring systems that you can rely on to go out on time. Set up a schedule for your newsletter, your postcards, your email blasts, etc. Then once those systems are squared away and running smoothly, turn the responsibility over to a junior who can oversee it and keep your systems in place. The more you can turn over to automation or put in someone else’s capable hands, the better you’ll feel.
3. Communicate Expectations. Let your staff know clearly and completely what you expect of them. The more they know, the more effective they will be at their jobs. When that’s the case, you can sit back and trust the work they produce.
4. Keep in Touch With Your Marketing Department. Stay Up to Date with the Latest Marketing Tools and Trends. Your marketing team is who’s helping you bring in the prospects and leads. When you stay up to date on new tactics and tools, you can provide your input where necessary. If you don’t, you will undoubtedly worry that they don’t know what they’re doing and you won’t trust their recommendation. In addition, you may not give new strategies time to work and this proves to you you’re right (when you’re not) and boy, are you WORRIED and STRESSED. The more in contact you are with your marketing team, the more you stay up to date and understand what’s going on, the more reassurance you’ll have that everything is running smoothly.
5. Show Appreciation for Your Staff. This one is a biggie. When the numbers and sales aren’t through the roof, it’s easy to forget to acknowledge the efforts of your hard working employees. Keep staff morale up and they will work their hardest for you. I like to reward hard workers throughout the year with a number of bonuses awarded for high production and then big awards at the end of the year to keep them motivated. For example, the employee of the year goes on a paid vacation to New York! And the runner-up goes to Chicago!
Extravagant? Not when you consider that I have 200 staff trying to earn those prizes all year long… THAT is an investment I’ll make any day!
It is never too late to start incorporating some, if not all, of these habits into your daily work routine. Not only will you start to feel better and less stressed, but your business should become more productive and efficient as well. And isn’t that what we all want?
What do you do to lower your workplace stress? Have any tips for me? I’d love to hear them in the comments below, or email them to me directly at Joy.Gendusa@PostcardMania.com. Want to talk to one of my marketing experts about getting your marketing systematized? (Call 800-628-1804 today for that one!)