How to avoid burnout as a small business owner

Burnout is the arch enemy of small businesses today. 1 out of 10 businesses fail because of lack of passion, and it’s estimated that negativity costs businesses $3 billion in productivity every year. There’s a fine line between being foolishly, unrealistically optimistic and being overcome with negativity. So as a small business owner, how do you find a happy medium?

The trick is noticing signs of potential burnout as they crop up. Burnout can happen at any stage of the business, from funding to marketing to building a cohesive team. Identifying it early will ensure you can take the necessary steps to push through and end up stronger on the other side.

Why is avoiding burnout so necessary? In a culture that views exhaustion as a status symbol, it seems that working to the bone has become an expectation. However, many workers have begun to expect a better work-life balance as people shift towards a more wellness-centred life. After all, what’s the point of building a successful business if your quality of life has deteriorated?

This infographic from Fundera helps you identify signs of burnout in your small business and gives tips on how to avoid it every step of the way.

Infographic: How to avoid burnout in small business

How to avoid burnout in small business

Watch out for these signs of burnout and how how they affect the bottom line of your business:

  • Studies have shown that confidence affects your earnings as much as cognitive ability.
  • 1 in 10 companies fail due to lack of passion.
  • Negativity costs business $3 billion a year in lost productivity.

Challenge 1: You’re funding your business

Ask for help
Reach out to a mentor for advice and double your chance of surviving past 5 years.

Less than 1% of startups are funded by venture capital, so switch your efforts to an easier method of funding.

Have confidence
Avoid burnout by focusing on your success and good ideas to boost your self-esteem.

Challenge 2: You’re marketing your business

Hire out
Contact a contractor to do the heavy lifting when it comes to branding, advertising and web design.

Play to your strengths
Burnout happens when you spread yourself too thin. Instead, identify a niche whose needs you can fill.

Understand your audience
Target your audience online or in real life to work smarter without working harder.

Challenge 3: You’re building a team

Take your time
Assess the fit of your hires carefully, as 23% of startups fail due to having the wrong team.

Filter candidates
Require applicants to include a keyword in their email to reduce the applications you have to read.

Get other opinions
As you hire, include your employees in the process of shaping the team environment.

Challenge 4: You’re overwhelmed with work

Say no
Spend your time on projects you enjoy and excel in, and don’t feel guilty for turning down work.

You suffer from burnout when you take on too much. Trust your employees with with assignments that play to their individual strengths and delegate tasks to them.

Organize your space
Save 4.3 hours a week by organizing your papers and files.

Challenge 5: You don’t feel a sense of direction

Don’t focus on the results
Change your goals from making money to enjoying the process and what you get to do every day.

Give back
People who donate money are 28% less likely to experience depression.

Define your business’s values
Keep yourself accountable for living the values by writing them down and sharing them with your employees.

Challenge 6: You’re exhausted

Make time for a run in the morning or yoga in the afternoon to help increase your energy.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.

Schedule breaks
Commit to taking a lunch break and an afternoon walk to help increase your focus and happiness.