Entrepreneurship can lead to massive levels of success, financial freedom, and deep personal satisfaction. However, being an entrepreneur can be stressful, even at times when your company is hitting targets and showing great promise.
Stress can arise from uncertainty, the level of personal and financial investment that you have in your company, or stress could simply be related to long working hours and the challenges of running a business.
If you’re a small business owner, then you’ll probably know your trigger points are for stress, but there may be somele that you haven’t yet identified. If you want to be prepared to deal with stress and get through it, then you’re going to first need to understand exactly where it can come from.
Capital keeps a business running while allowing some room to invest and grow. Even with the leanest and most scalable company, capital is essential. Ensuring that there is available capital requires plenty of time, and can be a point of stress for SME owners.
Generating Revenue Streams
If there’s one key to business that remains true in almost every modern industry, it’s that revenue needs to come from multiple streams. This can sometimes mean redefining your ideal market, or taking your offering to a demographic that you haven’t previously positioned for. You can also drive revenue through sales channels that you haven’t previously used. While it can be difficult to generate multiple revenue streams in the early days, finding success will make your business more robust and resilient to periods when sales decline.
Knowing Which Mobile Platform to Focus On
Many modern businesses choose to create mobile apps to add value to their brand. One thing that can be a point of stress, is knowing which mobile platforms to focus on. Spreading development across both Android and iOS can become more expensive than using a single platform, but it can also mean increasing brand reach.
Adjusting to a New Demographic
The Millennial demographic has become the most important demographic for businesses today, thanks to large numbers and relatively high purchasing power. Business owners may find that understanding millennials and developing products or services for them can require change and a significant investment of time, money, and other resources.
Overcoming Entitlement Expectations
‘Freemium’ is a relatively new business model where a product or service is offered for free at a basic level, with revenue coming from higher tier subscriptions and follow up transactions. For entrepreneurs with digital products and services, meeting this model, or explaining to consumers why it is not suitable, can be a leading cause of stress.
Stress doesn’t just come from within the business. Customers, the very source of revenue, can often be a handful to deal with, especially in the case of the few high maintenance customers that almost every entrepreneur will have to handle. It’s important to understand when a customer costs more than what they are worth to you, rather than deplete your time, energy levels, and resources by trying in vain to satisfy them.
Promises That Must Be Kept
Any promise made by an entrepreneur is essentially a promise made by the brand. Meeting commitments for deadlines, product launches, and delivery of service, can all build up as stress, even in the steeliest small business owner.
Keeping Valuable Staff
Retaining the strongest team members can be difficult, especially when their development outpaces the growth of your company. Your star performers will find opportunities elsewhere, so it can be particularly stressful trying to retain your best. Try to create a working environment where there is incentive to stay (both financial and otherwise) but also know when it’s time to let a staff member go when it’s in their best interest. Keeping all staff highly skilled and trained, and having succession plans can help prevent much of the stress caused by staff turnover.
Not Knowing What’s Coming
There are so many unknowns in business, with variables at every level that could potentially damage a business. Not knowing what is coming can easily cause stress, so it’s important that business owners keep track of trends, follow their market closely, and aim to understand their audience so that they can anticipate at least some of the future. In your own business, you could try to use collected data and key analytics to have a better picture of your future business and customer behavior.
Don’t let stress get the better of you when you’re running a business. Planning, understanding what can go wrong, and knowing what to do to manage stress, will all help you to stay on top of both your business and your health and wellbeing.