Don't let the stress get to you

stress 2

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2 - The real cost of stress

Running your own business can be exhilarating, energising and rewarding, but it can also be stressful. As its National Stress Awareness Month, we thought we’d share a few of the main highs and lows of being a small business owner – as well as a few tips to help you reduce stress and make life a little bit easier.

Full of rewarding and stressful moments, running your own business can be a real rollercoaster ride. Chances are most of the following feel familiar to you.

1 - The highs and lows of running an SME

High: You’re the boss. And you answer to no one.

Low: It can be lonely at the top. In fact, according to research by AXA Insurance, 50% of home-based business owners say they often suffer with loneliness.

 

High: It’s your call. You make all the big decisions.

Low: It’s all down to you. You’re responsible for everything and it’s your money on the line.

 

High: Your time is your own. You decide when you work.

Low: You never switch off. Chances are this means you’re always working, or at least thinking about work. And holidays are probably just a fantasy.

 

High: Money, money, money. You could make it big and retire early in the Caribbean.

Low: Times are tight. The economy is far from thriving and with Brexit just around the corner, many changes lie ahead. Plus, many business owners pay themselves relatively little and don’t even have a pension.

1 - Simple ways to stress less

  1. Spread the risk

It’s important to try and spread your business’ income as evenly as possible. If one customer is responsible for 40% or more of your business, it creates a pretty risky situation if they are late in paying and you need to charge interest or debt recovery or, even worse, if they stop working with you for any reason.

 

It’s a good idea to regularly work on finding new clients or customers. You should always carry out credit checks to help you assess their financial stability while doing this.

 

It’s also sensible to check the terms of your existing contracts, renegotiating where possible to help protect you from any unexpected loss of business.

 

  1. Share the load

It can be easy to think the world will end if you don’t handle everything yourself. But the old adage about a problem shared is true.

Finding your second in command can ease the strain and help motivate staff. Look for a strong leader with creativity and good people skills.

 

  1. Plan for the future

It can be hard to look too far ahead, particularly when it’s all hands to the pump. But failing to forecast has been the downfall of many a small business. An online system can help make admin – and life in general – easier. FUTRLI and Pulse are good places to start. There are lots of different ways to plan – take our quiz to find out what type of planner you are: http://www.mybizplan.co.uk/

 

Spending a little time prioritising your own payment schedule and setting up Direct Debits can make a big difference too. With many companies, npower included, it will help you avoiding surcharges.

1 - A helping hand online

We know how important it is to help make life easier for small business owners. That’s why we’ve made sure our online account offers:

 

  • Simple access to bills and more – all paperwork is saved online, so it’s easy to find whenever you need it
  • Handy updates and meter reading reminders – choose to receive text or email reminders whenever something needs your attention, so you can concentrate on running your business day to day
  • Instant access to our helpful customer services team – through online chat

 

You could also sign up to our free Business Rewards scheme and help distress staff with access to specially selected offers, discounts on days out, hotels, and travel, exclusively for npower Business customers.

 

If you haven’t already, it’s easy to register for an online account

 

Like what you’ve read? Why not join us on twitter @npowerbusiness #energytogrow and LinkedIn at npower Business

 

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