Whenever someone asks me what its like to run my own online business, I like to tell them how exciting it is. I usually mention how empowering it can be when you get to call your own shots and how nice it is not having to punch in somewhere on a time-clock. What I don’t talk about too often, however, is how exhausting it can be.
You see, along with the perks of being your own boss there is a downside because you’re also the one responsible for keeping the business going and when something goes wrong, it’s all on you. This can cause a lot of stress and when that stress builds up, it kicks all that excitement and empowerment right out the door. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help de-stress your business and more importantly…yourself.
1.Set some short and long-term goals. I’ve mentioned before how important it is to set goals so you know where your business is going, but there’s another important reason you need to set goals too. Mainly, when you set goals for your business it helps take the pressure off. You then know you’re working toward something instead of just floundering around trying to figure out where the business is headed.
Once you know what the “end-game” is, then you can set some short-term goals to help you get there. While you may have to go back and adjust your plan to reach your goal from time to time, just think how much stress it can relieve to know that you’ve got a clear path along the way. And…As an extra benefit, you can look back at your accomplishments and know it’s all been worth it.
2. Make a schedule and stick to it. One of the biggest ways to build up stress when you own an online business is to never step away from the business. You may feel that you have to keep an eye on things 24/7, but the reality is that will only lead to burnout. You not only won’t feel like listing items on eBay or sending those packages to Amazon, you’ll actually start to resent the business that you once thought you loved.
Set a start and stop point for your workday and let your family know what those hours are. You’ll find you are less stressed and as a bonus, you’ll generally get a lot less interruptions during the day if everyone knows know that at five or six you will be finished with work and ready for family time. You may even realize that want to get at your desk earlier, so you’ll have more free time at the end of the day.
3. Manage Your Money. The biggest point of stress for an online seller is worrying that you are going to run out of money or not be able to pay your bills. I don’t know how many sellers I have talked to that have no clue whether they are actually making a reasonable profit with their business or if in reality, they are actually going into the hole. This can cause a great deal of stress with your business and is usually the number one reason that sellers throw in the towel.
I know that it’s complicated to create a budget based on sales when you don’t know what those sales will be, but you should still have an estimated budget of what you need to make and then keep tabs on how close you are getting to that number. If the numbers are going in the wrong direction, look for areas you can cut back or increase your sales. Also look for additional ways to bring in added income can help further reduce stress and will also help that bottom line.