Reducing Stress in your Small Business
Owning a small business is stressful. There are multiple balls to juggle and more than enough issues, concerns and changes to occupy your mind 24/7. If you own a small business, you’ve likely found yourself deep in thought long after “work hours” have ended.
In Dale Carnegie’s influential book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, he details many ways to reduce stress, both at home and in the workplace. Many of these ideas and tactics can be especially helpful for those who are running a small business.
1. Don’t Second Guess Yourself
In his book, Carnegie recommends that a person should not lose themselves “in self-doubting which begets other doubts” and recommends refraining from “looking back over your shoulder.”
As a small business owner, you have several key decisions to make every day. Worrying about these decisions after they have been made, and second-guessing your choices, leads to stress. Making a conscious effort to leave decisions that were made in the past in the past, is beneficial for your sanity and your business. After all, there likely isn’t much that you can do about them now, so worrying about these choices accomplishes very little.
2. Be as Objective as Possible
One of the reasons that managing a small business is stressful is because there are various competing factors at play in nearly every action or decision. Carnegie recommends looking at facts in an objective manner to make the decision-making process easier. This removes a lot of the emotion from decision making and having the straightforward facts will help reduce stress.
One good way to increase objectivity is by pretending that you are preparing the facts for someone else when it’s time to make a decision. This helps remove your personal thoughts, emotions and biases from the equation.
3. Think about the Worst that Could Happen and Accept it
Whenever you have a difficult choice or decision to make, consider the worst thing that could happen if you head in a particular direction, and mentally prepare yourself to accept those results. There’s a good chance that the worst won’t occur (leaving you pleasantly surprised) but, if it does, you’ll already be prepared to deal with it.
4. Put Aside the Little Things
There are many trivial worries that enter our brain throughout the day and these small concerns can add up and cause a lot of stress. However, individually, these small issues are relatively insignificant, so it’s a good idea to try and ignore them so that you can focus on running your business effectively.
As Carnegie writes, “Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Remember ‘Life is too short to be little’.”
If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed, try to classify your stresses from big to small and then make a decision to let the small worries go. You’ll soon realize that these smaller issues take up a lot of space in your brain and only adds to your stress.
Dealing with Financial Stress
A small business encountering financial challenges can be an especially stressful. And rightfully so, there’s a lot at stake. Paying your vendors on time, ensuring employees get paid and turning a profit are all threatened once financial troubles surface. If you’ve found yourself awake in the middle of the night, stressing over the numbers or trying to come up with a way to balance the books, you know how all-consuming this stress can be.
While using the techniques above to recognize and manage your stress can certainly be helpful, there is a point where a small business owner needs to recognize that the source of stress is the financial performance of the business and then take steps to resolve these issues.
One way that you can ease your own stress and potentially improve the financial situation of your business is through small business restructuring.
There are a few different ways to accomplish this.
Small Business Restructuring
Restructuring a small business involves reorganizing certain aspects of it in order to adapt to changes or to achieve greater profitability or efficiency. If your small business is having financial challenges, the restructuring would likely focus on selling excess assets or returning them to creditors, as well as potentially closing unprofitable locations.
One way that to conduct small business restructuring is through a Proposal to Creditors.
A Proposal to Creditors is a legal process through which a business submits an offer to its creditors that sees the business reduce the overall amount owing and/or gives the business more time to repay what is owed.
If accepted, monthly proposal payments are made until the amount that has been agreed upon in the proposal is repaid. The costs of restructuring are included in the proposal payments.
It is important to recognize that each small business is different and that the challenges and financial realities of each particular organization are unique. In order to determine if small business restructuring and/or a Proposal to Creditors is the right step for your business to take, consider speaking with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Most trustees offer the initial consultation at no charge. Speaking with a trustee can give you the information you need to make an informed decision, which can help reduce stress and stop you from worrying about your small business.
Small businesses often face challenges getting financing. Many small business owners are too busy running their business to find the time to navigate their way through the complexities of getting a loan. They don’t know where to turn when their bank says no.
At Farber we have almost 40 years of experience helping small business owners getting financing through various sources, including traditional banks, government programs, credit unions, small business banks, factors, bridge lenders, asset-based lenders, royalty lenders, and private equity. We understand the best fit for your business and work for the business owner (not the lender) to help the business get the financing solution that is right for them.