This blog post was written by Trevor Conrod, Fitness Coach at Nivati. You can see more of their content on the Nivati platform and on the Nivati blog. If you want to learn more about Nivati, click here.
It has been long established that your wellbeing and mental state directly affect your output and productivity. You will not be at your peak efficiency if you are not feeling good. This can have lasting effects on both you and your business. When you are working for yourself, you are your boss and in charge of your career. This can be very rewarding, but it can also create unique challenges. This blog post will look at obstacles facing small business owners and employees and give insight into how adjustments can be made to ensure wellbeing isn't forgotten.
The Small Business Hurdles
Without managing or working for a small business, outsiders are often unaware of the incredible sacrifice and determination it takes to have things run seemingly without flaw. As small business workers, though, we know the hard work that must take place behind the scenes to create this illusion.
Before you can adjust your mental health outlook and ensure your employee wellbeing needs are met, we need to rethink some common small business hurdles.
1. Lack of Resources
Unlike Fortune 500 companies and big franchises, small businesses cannot access the seemingly unlimited resources and supplies more prominent brands enjoy. Lack of resources is more apparent during a startup phase of a company. However, keeping any business afloat requires continuous investments.
One way to overcome a lack of resources is to familiarize yourself with your location and partner with local companies. Business-to-business transactions are common with both small and large businesses. Take Apple, for example, using Samsung parts to aid in their production processes. Partnering with other companies puts less stress on your team and allows you to focus on more critical challenges.
2. Customer Retention
Attracting new customers can take time and effort, no matter your business. From radio ads to online deals, small businesses attempt to attract untapped customer bases in many ways. But what if there was an even better way to get your business out there and attract the customers you will love?
Word of mouth is, and always has been, the best form of marketing. People will trust their friends and family before they trust a stranger. So how does this correlate to our new customer dilemma? First, shift your focus from getting new customers to creating the best experience for your current customers. Sometimes, when we focus on bringing in new business, we forget that we can do more to serve our current supporters better. From building customer relations to offering curated services, your existing customers will be more inclined to continue doing business with you and recommend your services to others.
3. Big Business Competition
Dealing with competition is something most companies will struggle with at some point. However, how you address and view your competition can dramatically shift how much headspace they take up in the first place.
From a personal standpoint, I own a small group fitness studio. I know big box gyms and other local studios that the masses discuss and attend. But that said, I position my small business in a different group and create a niche where some wouldn't think there was one. Instead of worrying about not having the world's biggest and best equipment, I get creative with what I have. I develop unique workouts with the space, equipment, and resources my small business has available. So instead of competing with my "competitors," I no longer view them in the same category as myself. Expand your unique set of offerings, and watch your business blossom.
The Hustle Mindset
Now that we have some ideas on reframing some common small business hurdles, let's talk about how we can ensure our employee wellbeing and mental health needs are being taken care of.
First, let's take a moment to recognize that the current framework and mindset preached and promoted by influencers and high-value business executives is not helpful. Their "Hustle, hustle, hustle!" or "Sleep when you're dead!" guides are misleading and validate a toxic workaholic culture. It's no doubt that to be successful, you need to work hard. However, hard work does not correlate to a decrease in your physical and mental health.
When launching a new business or starting a new job, there is inherent pressure to overperform and get everything done ahead of time. This adds increased tension to your personal life, and the efforts and energy you put forth are now expected going forward. Do you remember the first thing you did when you started your business? Me neither. But at the time, I'm sure you thought it was the most crucial thing in the world. Take a step back and prioritize your business's "wants" and your "needs." You may be putting unnecessary energy towards "wants" when you could be focusing on things that need to get done.
In 2020, Covid-19 tested small businesses like never before seen. And as a result, nearly 100,000 small businesses in the united states permanently closed due to the effects of the pandemic and the financial troubles that ensued. Financial troubles are another small business hurdle that can severely impact your wellbeing. And while simply fixing the financial problem is easier said than done, how can we address our wellbeing troubles?
Although I firmly believe in the saying, "You have to spend money to make money," if you find your company in financial trouble, use it as an opportunity to seek out unnecessary spending. When a company is doing well, spending money on tools, services, and other monthly expenses is much easier. But when revenue dips, these expenses can add up fast without realizing it. It's imperative to ensure you have your weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses in check and controlled. If unnecessary items can be cut, do not hesitate to do so.
Wrapping Up With A Clear Mind
Small businesses have a lot of challenges to overcome, but they also have a lot of advantages not all companies have. From solid customer relationships to filling specific market niches. This is why small businesses comprise nearly 45% of US economic activity. "Without small businesses, the American economy and workforce would be a pretty wild landscape to imagine."
With such a significant impact comes great responsibility. And it's no doubt that these responsibilities can affect our mental and physical wellbeing. When we're feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it can be easy to forget why we started our business or why we're working at the company in the first place. Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder of our goals and what we hope to achieve to help us get back on track and refocus our attention. Asses the business "must do's" and business "want to do's." Remove unnecessary spending where possible, and get creative with delivering top-notch service to your loyal, current customers before scrambling to hunt for new ones.
Consider taking a step back and realize that you can maintain a good sense of wellbeing while still working hard towards your career goals. The process may just take some effort on its own.
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