How to Avoid Burnout as a Small Business Owner

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Whether it’s a startup or a small business, managing your day-to-day operations requires wearing more hats than might look good on you. When you’re in charge of finance, HR, marketing, and menial intern tasks, it’s easy to burn out.

Business doesn’t have to be a one-person show; in fact, it usually shouldn’t be. But how can you find help without making hires that you can’t afford? Here are a few of our tips.

1) Befriend people in the same situation

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Admittedly, this tactic won’t reduce your workload. If anything, it’ll technically increase it. But having friends and acquaintances who are pursuing dreams of entrepreneurship may greatly reduce your stress.

 

They say that you unconsciously strive to be similar to the people you spend the most time with, which is partly why coworking spaces are so valuable. But even without sharing the same workspace, you can attend events and meetups to try to meet people with similar interests.

It’s the same as making friends within a particular hobby. If you have friends that are trying to run a business that’s similar to yours, questions about strategy and tactics will become small talk. And that’s the best way to absorb information: instead of making all of your decisions through formal planning sessions, you’ll be able to passively absorb information by chatting with friends about their email subject lines and their social media statistics.

2) Assemble a board of directors

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This tip isn’t as scary as it sounds. A board of directors doesn’t have to be a group of multi-millionaires with majority shares of your company. Your board can be your friends.

What you really need is a group of people with some stake in your company—maybe a humble investment, or maybe a personal interest—who can help you with your problems. Think of it as your company’s support group. Sometimes, you just need a few people to bounce ideas off of.

Ideally, your board members would have some expertise in entrepreneurship or in your chosen niche. Even if they’re not 10 years your senior, they can still act as situational mentors. If you interpret it correctly, a little advice can go a long way.

3) Use technology to optimize your workflow

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There’s an app for everything, they say. Whether it’s on your phone, on the web, or on your desktop, you can probably find a piece of software that’s meant to solve any given business problem.

The issue with apps is that you never know that you need one until you discover it. You might be perfectly fine doing things by hand, but a program that can help you manage your finance, schedule social media posts, or make quick visual changes to your email campaigns could save you tens of hours in the long run. Time is money, and you don’t want to waste money on tedious tasks.

It’s true that you don’t know what you don’t know. If a habit is entrenched in you, it might be hard to envision a more efficient solution. The best way around this problem is to always look things up. If you encounter an inconvenience or inefficiency in your business operations, run a quick search to see if other people are having the same problem. Maybe it’ll be a legitimate problem with no easy solution—but maybe you’ll stumble upon a helpful product that solves exactly the problem you were having.

This trick won’t solve burnout altogether, but reducing tedium is a surefire way to keep your mental focus where it should be: growing your business.