Being a business owner is hard no matter what size or industry you are in…running a business is not for the faint of heart. Yet we all know the rewards can be wonderful when everything is working well and the business is running smoothly.
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t run that smooth all the time…there are always times of uncertainty, unrecognized risk, and the usual ups and downs of a day-to-day business. This can wreak havoc on a business owner. Sometimes this leads to “burnout” in the leader. When this happens, the business will suffer. If you can prevent this from happening, at least to a major degree, you have significantly improved the odds your business will run much smoother throughout the year.
10 Ways to Prevent Burnout
Here are 10 ideas that might help you to reduce or eliminate burnout if you are the leader (or owner) of your business.
One of the biggest causes of stress, anxiety, and burnout is when there isn’t a clear and concise direction (or plan). Take the time to make some plans for the next few years, then break it down into the current year, and then break it down into quarters for the upcoming year. When you have some very specific quarterly goals and plans, you have a target you can work towards…this helps keep you focused on what’s important.
Do a Risk Assessment
For most leaders, not knowing your risks can increase your anxiety and fears significantly. Do a “risk analysis” and identify the major internal and external risks facing your business. When you know what these are you can refer to #1 above and create some plans for minimizing or eliminating these risks.
Know Where You are By the Numbers
Similar to #2 above, when you know your financial and operational numbers you have a better understanding of what is really going on with your business. It takes the guesswork out of wondering what is going on…and this is usually much worse when imagined than reality. Then refer to #1 above and build some plans to improve the numbers where necessary.
Stay Focused on Your Purpose
Never lose sight of the purpose of your business. When you keep this in mind you have improved your odds of staying on course. When business leaders “lose their way,” one of the primary reasons is they lost sight of their purpose. When this happens, ask yourself, “Why am I in business?” The real answer to this…your purpose…will help you get back on track and focus on what is important and relieve a lot of stress.
Plan Out Your Day
Similar to #1 above, make it granular, plan out every day. When you plan out the day you have significantly increased your odds of getting done what is important. It helps you prioritize your top items and stay focused. This can relieve a great deal of stress and anxiety.
Take Time Off
We all know how many hours it takes to run a business, but it doesn’t help you or the business if you are worn out. Take time for yourself, clear your head, change the scenery, give yourself some downtime to just think, and relax. When you do this on a regular basis you are recharging your batteries and will be much more effective when you are working.
Assemble a Great Team and let Them Do Their Jobs
Having a great team around you that you can give responsibilities to and know they are going to get them done helps remove a lot of stress and anxiety. When you know others can help you accomplish what you planned in #1 you have a great opportunity to focus on what you need to do and let others do what they need to do to help you out. Don’t take it all on yourself, delegate responsibility and accountability.
Go Talk to Your Best Customers
One of the best ways to get charged up and back on track is to have some regular conversations with your best customers. They are your raving fans, your advocates, and the people who really sing your praises. There is nothing more rewarding and uplifting than hearing great things from those who really matter to the business…your best customers. Do this often and regularly…and it also helps with customer retention, which is vitally important to any business.
Recognize and Reward Employees
When you focus on your employees and show them how much you appreciate them you get even more excited about your business. You get to see how awesome your employees are and it helps you see what being in business is all about…your employees and their families. This doesn’t have to be expensive, compliments and recognition goes a long way today.
Use Outside Expertise on a Regular Basis
You know what you know and you know what you don’t know…get others who know the areas you don’t to help you regularly. There are a lot of experts who can help save you tremendous amounts of time and effort if you allow them to help you in some very specific areas. They can help you see that what you want to undertake isn’t so overwhelming and they can give you some solid plans on how to make it happen quicker than you could on your own.
When you follow these steps you have a much higher probability of avoiding burnout as a business leader or business owner. And if you can avoid any degree of burnout your odds of increasing your personal and business success increase significantly. Give it a try…what do you have to lose? And if you ever want to talk through any of these and get some outside perspectives feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and share some thoughts.