How to Prevent Business Owner Burnout | Creative Ravens | Maryland Small Business Blog
How to Prevent Business Owner Burnout | Creative Ravens | Maryland Small Business BlogWe really wish we would have learned this sooner - running a small business is very rewarding, but it is also quite difficult! Much more difficult than we ever could have imagined. There are long hours, minimal support, and limited personnel. In a business this small, the same person who replies to angry emails and phone calls from customers, is also the same person making merchandise, packaging that same product, and shipping it off. Then we must not forget that this very same person handles hiring, marketing, social media management, scheduling events, maybe even maintaining a blog or website (or several blogs and websites, like us), plus bookkeeping/accounting, and ordering supplies!
Large companies have entire departments dedicated to each and every single thing we just mentioned above. Can you imagine all of that being the responsibility of one or two people? When considering all of that hard work, and keeping in mind that most business owners are not masters at every single thing that needs to be done to run their business, is it even surprising that business owners get burned out just like everyone else?
So, what can be done about this? Keep on reading to see our list of great ways to overcome burnout.
Learn How To Say "No" Without Feeling Bad About It
When first starting a business, the temptation is there to take every single job that presents itself, no matter what the job is. There is a lot of excitement surrounding gaining your first clients, but there is also a slight tinge of desperation because you want your business to be successful. The odd jobs you take on could be ones that pay what you're actually looking for, but often times, there are jobs that are priced way below what you'd ever expect to make as someone who is self-employed (particularly if you're doing a project for a family member or friend). Do you know what I'm talking about (let's be honest, of course you do)? The jobs that you take on against your better judgement that turn out to be absolute nightmares? The ones where you charged well below what you normally do in order to gain "exposure" or during a slow period for your business?
My friends, it is absolutely ok (and encouraged) for you to confidently, but kindly say "no" when the feeling just isn't right. Some jobs just simply aren't worth the hassle for your business! Taking on jobs that are completely out of your element, or pay way below what you're worth will lead to burnout faster than anything else on this list! The beauty of having a niche, understanding your pricing and what you're trying to accomplish with it, and understanding your target audience will make it considerably easier for you to say "thanks, but no thanks" the next time your Uncle Joe asks you to cater his company's party for $20 and a case of beer.
Remember that Not Every Client is Your Ideal Client
Speaking of target audience, there is a reason why you have one! Please, don't become discouraged if a client turns you down for someone else in your industry, or if you're struggling to find clients in the beginning. With dedication and proper networking with your target audience, clients will come! Marketing to people who don't fit with your brand or goals is exhausting because the connection just isn't there. Save yourself the trouble (and the burnout), and know who you need to market to, and why you need to market to them!
Take A Break
You might be surprised to hear this (I know that I am), but it is totally ok to take breaks! Who knew! Take breaks throughout the workday to keep yourself energized, productive, and alert. Listen to some music, or read some motivational quotes. The blog, Gridcore, has some quotes you might enjoy! Also, remember to enjoy your "weekends" (whatever days of the week they might include), and then take a darn vacation one of these days! Even if it's a quick weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods, you'll feel like a new person when you're back in your workspace again!
Know When to Ask for Help
The wonderful thing about networking is that you get to connect with others in your field who may have more experience than you when it comes to certain things. This experience might include dealing with an upset client, how to get your work published, or having someone cover for you in the event of an emergency (wedding photographers know what I'm talking about, I'm sure!). When the time comes, take a moment to breathe, then think about your amazing circle of business owner friends and reach out for advice. Even if they are in totally different industries, they still might be able to offer you some valuable insight; thus, keeping you from losing your mind!
Last but definitely not least - outsource! Outsourcing is magical! It is bittersweet when you're finally at a place where you have so much work that you can't keep up with it all. On one hand, it is great to have security in your business, with scores of people lining up to work with you! On the other hand, it is stressful as hell to have piles of work shooting out of your ears! What should you do if that happens? Hire an extra set of hands (and eyes), to help you get all of those tasks done. The idea of this may not sound all that enticing to you because of the costs, but outsourcing (if done well), will increase your productivity, while decreasing your workload. You'll actually be able to make more money in the long run because more tasks can be completed in a shorter amount of time. If you're feeling like you could use some help with your business, please reach out to us! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Burnout has no home here!
There is our list of tips for how to prevent burnout as a business owner. We thought we should mention that burnout is totally normal, and most business owners will experience it at some point or another. When it does hit you, know that you aren't alone and that there are tons of things you can do to help alleviate it.
Have you ever experienced burnout while running a small business? If so, how did you deal with it? Leave a comment to tell us about it!