How SME owners are addressing their financial and mental health




As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. In addition to working day and night to help your company reach the next level while keeping your employees happy and engaged, you also need to constantly think about the finances. You likely have good and bad days, when the money might be flowing now, but later on, you are pinching pennies looking for a way to make ends meet. If you don’t find a solution, then you could start to experience financial anxiety.

If you are stressed then your business can suffer and your employees may feel your anxiety, and their work could suffer as well. You need to understand why you are stressed, how you can quell your mental anguish, and then figure out how to save money and remain financially stable. Let’s talk about how to do all of that and more.

Why business owners get financially stressed

As a small business, you are always looking for a new way to pump capital into your organization so you can continue to produce products and make a profit. While you can get loans from the Small Business Administration and other sources, you likely need to do more legwork to get the money that you require. That alone can be a cause for stress.

In addition to staying afloat, you also need to ensure that you have the warehouse and office space available to house your employees and the tools that they need to succeed. That requires paying the utilities, keeping the building in good working order, and paying the rent on time. You’ll also need to pay taxes which can be an added burden at the end of the year that can be tough to take.

It is important to prioritize where you spend your money and determine if the added expenses are really helping your business. For instance, you might think that you need the newest and fanciest technology to keep your company ahead of the competitors, but now may not be the time to make that change. Sometimes, employee productivity might be down, and you might think that updating the tech will encourage your team to be more productive.

However, the problem might not be the tech but instead the company culture. You first need to talk to your staff and listen to their concerns so you can help them to be as efficient as possible. Once everyone is on the right page, then you can look at the budget and determine if new tech is necessary.

Work on your mental health

Needless to say, there are many financial stressors that could lead you to feel mentally drained. If the anxiety is getting to you and you are experiencing headaches, body pain, and you are finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, then you need to take a moment to improve your mental health. That is the first step. If you don’t get your mind right, then you will never be able to tackle your money issues.

First, consider getting help from others. From a health standpoint, that may mean talking to a support group or a therapist so they can help you to get your priorities in order and create a plan for success. You should also think about getting help on the job site. One of the reasons why you may feel stressed is that you have too much going on at once. If you believe that is the case, then reach out to the people at your job and ask them to take on some additional responsibilities. If there are some repetitive tasks that take up several hours each day, then consider outsourcing that work to another company.

To further put your mind at ease, consider practicing some relaxation techniques throughout the day. Yoga and meditation may seem strange at first, but they can provide great mental relief. If you are short on time, then at least try completing some breathing exercises when you are feeling particularly stressed. While there are many that you can try, start with a simple technique where you breathe out for three seconds, then breathe in for seven seconds, and then breathe out again for five seconds. This exercise can help to level your body and your mind.

Of course, you should also get plenty of sleep. By sleeping for seven to nine hours a night, you can wake up feeling physically and mentally refreshed so you can take on a new day and solve your money issues.

Then solve your money issues

Once you have your mental health in a better place, you can start to address your financial issues. In many cases, solving the problem may just require finding ways to save money and cut unnecessary expenditures. For instance, you could choose to switch to a paperless office which would cut down on paper, printing costs, and storage. You can also save money by leasing equipment instead of purchasing it outright. In addition to saving money on the initial purchase, many leasing agreements also cover potential repairs, upgrades, and maintenance.

Next, look at the 3rd parties that you work with and determine if you can find a way to save money with them. You may look at your finances and see that your bank is charging you large fees to complete basic banking functions like using your debit card. Do some research online and consider switching banks. You can also talk to the vendors that you work with on a regular basis and explain your budget and concerns. It may be possible to strike a deal with them for lower costs.

You can also try to cut some of the expenses you have outside of work so you can use those for your business. As an example, if you are currently on the hook for expensive medical bills, you can try to negotiate your rate by asking about assistance programs and speaking to a patient advocate. You can also save money by cutting out unnecessary expenses like your daily Starbucks run and the lunch that you eat out. Instead, prepare your coffee and food at home, and you can save a lot of money.

As you can see, there are ways that you can successfully navigate your issues and improve your financial and mental health. Consider these tips, take a breath when you need one, and you will get through this rough patch.

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