We often hear success stories of rising entrepreneurs–business owners who transformed small businesses into thriving, profitable empires. It’s easy for people to share their successes, but failures and setbacks are often shared more reluctantly. This can give some an inaccurate assumption that running a small business is easy.
Can Owning a Business Be Stressful?
Running a small business can be very challenging for many entrepreneurs. Even if a business is doing well, there will be some level of stress present. After all, as a small business owner, there is no one else to take accountability for mistakes or obstacles that may arise. This means that it’s up to you to figure out how to move the business forward, all the while preventing burnout.
It also doesn’t (usually) get easier as your company grows. Even owners of companies that have grown to be worth millions agree that stress levels increase. However, many of these individuals find that the stress fuels their creativity and problem-solving. The important thing is to be able to handle this stress, not just hope that it will magically disappear. If you feel like stress is beginning to overwhelm you, make a list of everything that is causing stress. Identify if there’s something that can be done about it – if not, don’t waste time stressing over it. Otherwise, worrying about things outside of your control can eventually build up and cause business owner burnout.
What are Three Primary Reasons That Small Businesses Fail
There’s a commonly held belief that half of all small businesses fail within the first year. However, data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 20% fail within the first two years, 45% fail within the first 5, and 65% fail within the first 10 years. While this is a more optimistic outlook, it’s clear that there are a significant number of short-lived businesses. The leading causes of business failure include failing to stick to the business plan, lack of capital, and insufficient market research.
A business plan should include a comprehensive outline of how the business will function. This should serve as your roadmap and should include achievable business goals, strategies to reach these goals, and solutions to potential problems. Failing to stick to this plan, unless it is inaccurate, is a recipe for business trouble.
Some entrepreneurs fail to conduct enough market research before they open their businesses. For example, if your product or service doesn’t fit an unmet need for your target audience, it will be difficult to sell and gain customers. Instead, it’s easier for businesses to achieve success if they’ve been able to successfully identify unmet needs and then introduce a solution for their customers.
Capital can also be a major challenge for businesses and affect their ability to survive. After your initial investment into your company, if you’re still not making money and need to obtain a loan or other type of financing to survive, that’s not a good sign. This situation can arise if you tried to stretch finances too long at the beginning, which didn’t allow you to generate the momentum needed to bring in revenue. Developing an accurate business plan can help you effectively spend your initial capital and try to ensure it’s able to last until the business begins to make money.
How Does Stress Affect Business?
Just as stress is harmful to business owners, it can have a detrimental effect on the business itself. One of the most important effects stress can have on a business is decreased productivity. As a result, employees may make more mistakes, there may be a higher level of customer dissatisfaction, or deadlines may not be met. If these go unresolved, stress can also lead to financial losses, especially if sales decline. This required business owners to get the management of stress under control before it permanently damages the business.
What is Stress Management?
Within your business, it’s important to create a plan to appropriately deal with stress. This means creating plans to identify and mitigate sources of stress and reduce the impact it has on employees. Things like long work hours or heavy workloads can increase levels of stress, so make sure your employees are taking enough breaks and check with them to see if they’re having trouble managing the tasks they’ve been assigned.
Additionally, prioritize maintaining open communication within your organization to ensure employees are comfortable voicing their opinions and that you’re able to give constructive feedback to them as well. Ultimately, you’ll want to talk to your employees to understand what causes stress in business and work with them to identify an agreeable solution.