Xero have released a report that helps shed light on the top 10 areas that cause small business owners stress.
The data in this report is really helpful in highlighting the most pressing needs among business owners because it gives insight into which decisions might be most effective in relieving stress.
It’s also helpful to know that you’re not the only one struggling with the difficulties of running a business.
Here are the 10 areas listed below, with some of our own advice on how to relieve the particular stress.
1. Managing Staff (42%)
Nearly half of business owners say that managing their staff is the most stressful part of the job.
Of course, a big part of this will be training and up-skilling staff. Often this is something that only you can do, but providing you’re offloading your work down the line, this will usually be of huge benefit in the long term.
Disciplining and queries however can be the most stressful aspects of managing your staff, and so it’s often helpful to have managers that you trust to help take responsibility for them.
2. All Of The Admin (35%)
Over a third of business owners say that admin causes them stress.
Of course, when you start a business you have dreams of providing a product or service that you’re skilled at doing, so it’s often a big wake up call when you suddenly need to find time to complete all of the necessary admin tasks.
If this problem is particularly difficult for you, there are lots of apprenticeship schemes that you can take advantage of to assist you in this area.
3. Feeling Responsible For The Business’ Success (31%)
As the driving force of the business it’s understandable that owners feel the weight of responsibility as they chase success.
Every decision you make could be a factor in how successful the business is in the long term, however it’s important to remember that success isn’t just an end goal – it happens as you go along.
Take the time to celebrate the everyday successes and know that successful trends, often bode well for the future.
4. Keeping Up With Compliance (26%)
Over a quarter of business owners cite compliance as one of the biggest stresses.
In 2018 the UK was hit with new GDPR compliance, in 2019 the focus is Making Tax Digital. These can prove a massive headache for business owners.
Usually, when it comes to compliance, the safest thing to do is to outsource to professionals who know what they are doing and will help you through any legal changes for business owners.
5. Paying For Office Overheads & Expenses (24%)
Cash Flow and poor bookkeeping are often the cause of monumental stress amongst business owners.
It is extremely unnerving not knowing what you can, and can’t, spend to ensure your business is profitable, or breaking even each month.
It can take businesses a long time to get their own bookkeeping up to date, but when you’re there, using software like Xero can give you a real-time view of your finances and help you feel less stressed about making those decisions.
6. Keeping Clients Happy (23%)
The biggest hit to a business can be losing clients or customers, so it’s important that they’re kept happy.
A great way of doing this is being really clear on what you’re offering, so that when you deliver, they know what to expect and are happy with the result. Don’t over promise!
Communication is also key. If you’re clients or customers feel like you want to make their experience better, and want to listen to their feedback, they’ll begin to appreciate you more.
7. Imposter Syndrome (20%)
Since the introduction of social media it’s become very easy for people to set up accounts and websites pretending to be another business.
It doesn’t happen to everyone but when it does, the experience can be incredibly stressful.
Fixing the problem is never a straightforward process, and the greatest worry is that it will damage your businesses reputation beyond repair.
Our advice is to understand the situation, and ask around for advice, before it happens to you. Find out what methods were successful for others, so that if it ever happens to you, you can nip it in the bud as fast as possible.
8. Filing Taxes (19%)
Say no more…
This complicated process can be made more simple with helpful software that stores your information digitally.
Getting an accountant, like ourselves, will also simplify this process as opposed to doing it all on your own.
9. Time Pressure (17%)
With every business comes a different time pressure.
Often business owners will work around the clock to get the job done and this puts an enormous weight of stress on a person.
Simplifying processes will help to lower your workload, and making it more manageable. There is a lot to be said though of making time for yourself: it can make a big difference. It’s proven to help you be more productive, and enjoy your work.
10. Multi-tasking (14%)
Do you feel like you’re spending all of your time doing lots of different jobs? Are you multitasking all of the time?
If so, you’re probably feeling stressed out by it. The first thing to do is to work out what you want to be doing. What is your ideal role?
Then you can figure out which tasks to pass on to other staff. Doing this sometimes creates an entire new role, and you realise you need to hire.
If you can’t do that, then outsourcing is also a great option! Especially when it come to the financial side of your business.
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