Owning a small business during the pandemic has been a challenge for many. As the nation was told to stay indoors, small business owners continued to run their companies and care for their communities. Inevitably, this has made retail stress a significant challenge for business owners.
But this commitment came with a price. According to a study that surveyed almost 800 small business owners in the UK, 82% suffered from poor mental health during the pandemic.
As a small business owner, you’re responsible for an insurmountable number of tasks. As well as managing the sales, operations, and employees within your company, remembering to take care of yourself is paramount. If you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities, this can filter down into your company and potentially harm the success of your business.
Here are three ways to alleviate retail stress as a small business owner. Review your achievements, recharge your social battery, and repeat.
1. Recognise your success and focus on the positives
As a small business owner, you’ve already achieved so much to get to where you are. But despite this, you may feel like you can’t rest until you’ve ticked off countless tasks on the way to expanding your business. According to a survey by NerdWallet, 54% of business managers claimed the pandemic was the most stressful 12 months of their careers. When you’re in this mindset, it’s easy to overlook the positives and focus on fretting about where you feel you ought to be.
Remember to recognise your success. You may have opened an online retail store during the pandemic and succeeded against all odds. Maybe you’ve implemented extra amenities in your shop, such as slush machines, which have contributed handsomely to your profits.
Whatever you’ve achieved and whichever industry you’re in, focusing on the positives will alleviate the stresses of owning a small business. Don’t let yourself crumble under the pressure to be successful; recognise your success and continue to build the business of your dreams!
2. Take the time to care for your well-being
In the hustle and bustle of owning a small business, it’s easy to forget about yourself. Remember to take the time to care for your mental and physical well-being. This might be something as simple as a walk around the block during your lunch break or turning your work phone off on a Saturday evening.
Physical activity is a great way to alleviate stress. From a peaceful stroll to an energising run, any amount of exercise can reduce the stresses of owning a small business. According to the NHS, staying physically active can improve your self-esteem, mood, and quality of sleep. Exercise can even reduce the risk of major illnesses!
Whether you feel the negative effects of overworking or not, taking time for yourself is imperative to running a successful business. Your staff look up to you for guidance and inspiration in the day-to-day running of your company. If you’re caught up in last week’s business, it’ll be easy to lose track of what needs to be done.
3. Organise and delegate tasks to reduce retail stress
For small business owners, there are so many tasks to complete that you may become flustered and lose track of your progress. According to a study by Xero, 35% of small business owners claim admin tasks are one of the highest stressors. However, by organising your tasks, you’ll be able to go through the day one step at a time and reduce the risk of overwhelming yourself.
In order to do this, rank your tasks according to their importance. Make a list and work through each task, focusing on one at a time. This will prioritise the most important jobs and reduce the risk of you working late or panicking at the end of the day. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than a successful day’s work.
Also, it’s important to remember you don’t need to take on every responsibility. You may be the owner, but you should be able to delegate tasks to the people around you. If you treat your staff with respect and kindness, they will care about the success of your business and will be happy to help. Actually, if your staff are eager to progress in the company, they will go out of their way to take on more responsibility. So let them!
Reduce retail stress
There are many more ways to alleviate stress, but these three steps can help begin the process of making life more manageable. By recognising your success, taking the time to care for your well-being, and organising and delegating tasks, you stand a better chance of running a business that makes you happy. Help yourself, improve your business, and look towards a brighter future.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.