By Aurora McCausland
Small business owners are the backbone of your local economy. They provide quality services and products that big name stores just can’t offer. The personal touch you get from a small business is invaluable. However, even though small businesses are so important to each community that they are a part of, there are dozens of hardships and stressors that go on behind the scenes that a consumer just doesn’t see. Small business owners gladly absorb these issues, because they have a passion for what they do. But wouldn’t it be nice if a few of those headache causing issues could disappear?
Prioritize your tasks between necessary and nice
There are so many things, as a small business owner, you want to be able to do. However, some tasks that are nice to do, just aren’t necessary. If you feel like you’re overwhelmed and have too much on your plate, you should try to cut out the tasks that just aren’t necessary for the function of your business. A few examples of nice tasks that aren’t actually necessary, would be updating multiple social media platforms for business every single day, or writing handwritten letters to send out with packages you deliver. These things will vary vastly depending on what your business is. Chances are, as you’re reading this, you’ll know what the non-necessary items are! If you’re struggling, try writing out a list of all of the work tasks you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This helps you look at it objectively, as well as see what is taking up the majority of your time.
Enlist financial help
With so many things on your plate, there’s no surprise that the areas of your business that aren’t your speciality sometimes go neglected. When those things are your finances, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. A lot of small business owners feel like they can’t afford to hire an accountant or CPA for their business, but most businesses actually lose money by not seeking professional help. A professional knows how to help you set up an effective budget, as well as get the most out of your yearly/quarterly/monthly taxes.
Secure your store location
If your small business has a physical location, one of the things that causes a lot of stress is making sure that your business is secure. When you run your business out of your home, it’s easy to keep track of everything and make sure that nothing gets damaged or stolen. When you have an offsite location that you have to leave everyday, things can get stressful. If you worry about potential theft, or even if you just need a little peace of mind, investing in some sort of security for your small business is a good idea. Think of it this way. You wouldn’t go without some sort of alarm on your home or car, so why would you go without some sort of security for your small business? Video surveillance is a great option, because there are lots of affordable options that you can even view from an app on your phone. You can set up notifications to let you know if there is unsuspected movement and if you’re feeling uneasy, you can quickly pull up a live feed and feel reassured.
Learn to delegate
The key to delegating, is making sure that the people you are delegating to are good at the tasks you are giving them. Giving a team member a task they hate and don’t know how to do, just means that you’ll have to finish or redo the task later on. So make sure you know your team and know their strengths, and then delegate accordingly.
Handle tasks in batches
It gets overwhelming to answer every email the second it hits your mailbox, check your social pages as soon as you get a notification, or package an order the moment you receive it. It’s good to be efficient, but when you are bouncing between tasks, you get burnt out and that results in stress and headaches. Instead, batch your time. Check your email at the beginning, middle, and end of your day and ignore it the rest of the day. Have two set times a day to check your social media channels. Designate a time of day to do order fulfillment, and once that time is up, you can finish your work the next day.