Coping with the Pressure When Your Small Business Takes Off
When you start a business, be it a blog, a small consultancy firm, an ecommerce store, a brick and mortar shop or office, or anything else that you have started from scratch on your own, your ultimate goal is success. Of course, success means something different to all of us. Some people just want to earn enough to quit their job and work from home. Others, hope to employ staff and grow their firm. Some people, seek to start building their business abroad and others want to take on the world. Whatever success means to you, you’ll have goals and plans to get there.
For most small businesses, success takes time to achieve. You can work hard for years, giving your business long hours, everything that you can afford and for a long time you can have little to show for it. For others, success comes quickly.
Whenever it comes, despite all of your plans, it can be a bit of a shock. Especially if it’s sudden and somewhat unexpected. This sudden success comes with pressures of its own. Your time is suddenly in high demand, both on and offline. You are well known, at least in your circle. You are under greater scrutiny, and suddenly you’ve got much more to do. There are more emails to reply to, more people to speak to, more updates needed, you have to think about ways to sustain your growth, perhaps hiring more staff or increasing production. The stress of success can seem to make it all too much. Here are some ways to cope with these pressures and stresses.
Becoming more successful means making more money. This is fantastic, but it’s barely worth it if you can’t cope, and it’s unlikely to be sustainable if you are trying to take too much on.
One thing that many small business owners worry about is hiring staff. They don’t want to spend time and money on new employees if their success isn’t going to last. If sales drop, will they still be able to afford to pay others? Is it worth it? Should they wait to see what happens or risk hiring straight away?
One fantastic alternative is outsourcing work. Outsourcing to freelancers gives you a break and a chance to focus on the areas of your business that only you can handle. Without committing you to full time, permanent employees. Outsource tasks when you can afford to, and do more yourself the rest of the time. It gives you much more freedom over your staff and your projects.
Stop Answering Your Phones
Answering the phone and replying to emails doesn’t take too much time when you are quiet. It’s an easy part of your day that you can tackle when you’ve got time. Then, when things pick up, suddenly emails and phone calls are flowing all of the time and taking up a good chunk of your day that would be better spent elsewhere. Outsourcing to virtual services can save you time and money and cut your stress right down.
As a small business, you’ll have a way of organising your time. You might write to-do lists or use an online calendar. But, chances are you are pretty flexible with your time. You’ll have your way of doing things, and if it works, you’ll stick to it.
Then, when things get busier, unfortunately, you might find that your systems no longer work. Suddenly you might find that your to-do lists are never-ending and that each day is dragging on longer and longer. Your lists are becoming confused and every day starts with jobs left from the day before. Outsourcing will help a lot. But, you need to nail down your organising. Be stricter with yourself, practice your time management skills and try not to take on too much.
Learn to Say No
With success often comes opportunity. As a known business, more people will want to work with you or become affiliated with your business or your name. Offers of work will fly in, and everyone will want a bit of your time. When you’ve sought success for a long time, this can seem like everything that you’ve dreamed of. But, saying yes to every offer is a mistake.
If you want to sustain your success, it’s essential that you learn how to say no. It’s great to be popular, but trying to do everything and give everyone your time leads to stress and burnout. Only say yes to the things that will either make you money or make you happy. Say no to the rest.