Working in the retail industry is stressful as it is. Owning a business in this space is even more challenging and demanding. If you’re going to last very long, you need a strategy for reducing stress.
Uncover The Sources of Your Stress
Stress is the body’s natural reaction to any change that requires you to make an adjustment or response. The body typically responds with a combination of physical, mental, and emotional shifts. And though stress is normal, too much stress can be counterproductive and damaging to your health.
Your body’s nervous system has a built-in stress response that allows you to respond to potentially dangerous situations. “This stress response, also known as the ‘fight or flight response,’ is activated in case of an emergency,” Cleveland Clinic explains. “However, this response can become chronically activated during prolonged periods of stress. Prolonged activation of the stress response causes wears and tear on the body – both physical and emotional.”
For retail business owners, the problem with stress is not that it’s present, but rather that it’s chronically present. After days, weeks, months, and even years of steady stress, the physical and mental effects can be disastrous. You should start by identifying the sources of your stress and then actively pursue strategies for reducing or eliminating the factors that cause the most stress in your life.
Though every situation is unique, we’ve taken the time to uncover some of the major stressors in this industry and provide a few tips that should allow retail business owners like you to find some freedom.
1. Develop A Schedule
“Try to remember that you are your own boss now,” small business expert Georgia McIntyre says. “And if there’s something about your schedule that stresses you out every day, then change it! If you find yourself leaving your office at 6:30 every night—but would be much happier leaving at 5:30 to get home and relax—then make that change in your schedule.”
It’s easy to view your role as irreplaceable, but the simple fact of the matter is that most of your job duties can be assumed by someone else (granted that they’re properly trained). An extra hour away from work in the evenings won’t ruin your business, but it will significantly lower your stress level and give you a chance to enjoy your family.
2. Hire People You Trust
Want your day-to-day life as a business owner to be less stressful? The best piece of advice is to hire people you trust. Find people that accept and fulfill responsibilities – not because they’re told to, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Even if you have to pay them a premium to work for you, having people you can trust in your corner will change the way you view your business. It makes it easier to get off an hour earlier, take a weekend getaway, or delegate tasks that would otherwise bog down your schedule.
3. Outsource Certain Jobs
There are certain responsibilities of running a retail business that are necessary, yet don’t fall under your expertise. And when it doesn’t make sense to hire someone full-time – with jobs and tasks like supply chain management, ERP modernization, data warehousing, or business intelligence – you should take a serious look at outsourcing.
“Outsourcing shouldn’t be viewed as a last resort. Instead, look at it as a cost-effective way to fill the gaps that exist between your area of expertise and the challenges that would require too much of your time and energy,” suggests CIS, a global provider of technology solutions in dozens of industries, including retail. “In this sense, outsourcing is about creating powerful partnerships.”
4. Take Vacations And Breaks
You have to carve out some intentional time away from the job. A 24-36-hour weekend isn’t enough. You need to take at least one extended vacation away from work each year. And if you do a good job of hiring people you can trust, this won’t be nearly as difficult.
Replace Stress With Confidence
Stress will always be present in some shape or capacity, but it shouldn’t be something you chronically battle for long periods of time. Use the tips above and find a way to replace stress with confidence.
Not only will your health benefit, but so will the business and everything else you touch.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.