Running a small business is, for the most part, hard graft. You work long hours, feel a burden of responsibility to your staff and often have to jump through hoops to turn a profit.
But you’re doing this because you love it – yes?
If you are not so sure anymore, it’s time to take stock and make some changes. A few small adjustments to how you spend your time and resources should help get your mojo back.
Follow these 10 steps to become a happier business owner:
You must have a passion for your business, otherwise you wouldn’t have started it. But as with every job, there will be things you like about running a business and tasks you may not be so excited about.
Know your strengths and limitations, and get help where you need it. Having the right support team in place can allow you to focus on the parts of your job that you enjoy, and can be a great way to keep dedicated and motivated staff energized. Don’t be afraid to delegate when necessary.
Networking is essential for any business owner but often gets sidelined. It’s also fun – so get out there!
Join your area’s Chamber of Commerce, attend business networking events, even canvass your community and introduce yourself. You’ll make business contacts and possibly some friends in the process.
3. Learn something new
You can’t know everything about running a business but there’s no need to stop trying!
Take a class at your local business development center or an online course to improve your knowledge or learn a new skill.
4. Stay focused
Being involved in the day-to-day operations of a business can be overwhelming.
At times, you may even forget why you got into this business. Take a step back from time to time to remember your goals and mission. It will be a good reminder as to why you are working so hard in the first place.
5. Balance work with life
Take time out for family, friends and fun in order to prevent business owner burnout.
Spending time with family is proven to lower stress levels and increase one’s overall happiness.
Be sure to include some time for yourself in your downtime. Whether you decompress by getting a massage, going fishing or reading a book, it’s important to disconnect from your business every once in a while.
6. Give back
Doing good for others makes us feel good.
By taking some time out for charitable work or donating to a good cause, you are making the world a better place and also connecting your business to your community.
7. Adapt to change
Being flexible is an important part of running a business.
Our world changes daily and resisting change can cause your business to fall behind.
Whether it’s adopting new technology or adjusting your product mix to fit new industry trends, try to keep an open mind and grow with your business.
8. Walk before you run
A business owner’s 'to do' list can be daunting. Mundane everyday tasks often take priority over driving the business in the direction needed to achieve your strategic goals.
Having a list of large projects can be overwhelming, so focus on a series of smaller tasks that you can complete to help you reach your end goal.
You will feel a sense of accomplishment more frequently, while knowing that you are working to achieve your dreams.
9. Dream big
While you are dreaming, don’t be afraid to reach for the stars.
10. Communicate with your team
Establishing a good relationship with your employees is important for any manager. By getting to know them, you will be able to relate to them better and help celebrate their successes. Communication will be key.
Small business owners rate 'good intra-team communication' as one of the key factors to an improved quality of work life. Be sure to dole out praise when warranted and treat everyone with dignity and respect.
With a little self-reflection and a review of these steps, any business owner can get on track to happiness by creating a healthy work environment.