The new “business as usual” is anything but, and adjusting to all the change is stressful for small business owners. As of October, 2020, more than 75% of small businesses say the pandemic has had a negative effect on them. And, one in seven Americans say work and the economy is making them stressed.

 

That’s why it’s important to your health — and the vitality of your business — that you find ways to recharge and support your well-being. After all, more than ever, you need sharp problem-solving skills and creativity to succeed.

 

Use these tips to stay fresh, adjust to the changing business landscape and protect your important business assets — it’s important for you and your company.

 

Take a break

More than three-quarters of adults report physical and emotional problems due to stress right now. While you may have a very full plate, finding some work-life balance will be good for you and will make you a more effective entrepreneur.

 

As hard as it is, find ways to recharge, including:

 

  • Staying connected with other people. Visiting with friends and family in person may be off limits, but phone and email check-ins can be surprisingly rewarding. Reach out to discuss concerns, share a laugh or just take your mind off work. You can also maintain social connections by playing virtual games on sites like CardzMania or Jackbox.
  • Feeding your soul. When you can’t get out to a theater, museum, sporting event or other outing that rejuvenates you, substitute virtual experiences that deliver some of the same results. Online arts opportunities are plentiful, including virtual museum visits and performances. If you used to attend sports events to relax, you probably know that no one network, streaming service or cable provider provides comprehensive access to online viewing. Search by sport to find the best way to follow your favorite team.
  • Moving. Regular exercise can help you feel more energic, burn off stress and maintain mental and physical health. You might not be able to get into a gym, but a walk around your neighborhood, a hike in the woods or an online exercise video can be a great mental reset after a long day.

 

Embrace online operations

When you feel like your business is up to date with how shoppers want to buy, you may feel some relief that you’re doing everything possible to bring in business and meet current market needs. This, in turn, will support a sense of overall well-being.

 

That’s why if you haven’t moved your selling, servicing or other aspects of your business online, now’s the time.

 

A robust online presence can help your business in several ways:

 

  • An e-commerce website can allow customers to browse offerings, purchase and pay in advance for curbside pickup or delivery, and limit their in-person time and exposure.
  • Restaurants and cafes can offer mobile ordering, enabling patrons to read the menu, make selections and pay by phone. This also limits contact between your team and the public
  • Service businesses can provide online booking and comprehensive visit-related information. People expect the convenience of online scheduling and like to know what to expect before they come to you in person.

 

 

Support your team

Ensuring the health and productivity of your most important asset — your team — is a key success factor in the new normal. Since small business owners typically work closely with employees, knowing you’re providing for team well-being will make you feel better, too.

 

Take steps to support your team in keeping a positive state of mind and good physical health. Also, look for ways to train team members and provide other information your team needs to adjust to operation changes.

 

Here’s how you can support your team:

 

  • Post signage about health and safety practices to stop the spread of COVID-19. Wall decals and posters about cleaning hands, wearing masks and keeping distance are foundational. Visit Staples Print and Marketing Services for signage solutions. As we head into flu season, add support information about how to sneeze without infecting others and additional cold weather considerations.  
  • Check in regularly with your employees. Provide printed cards or sheets reminding them of new procedures in the business, recently introduced offerings and other backup materials that will make things easier for them. This support will help them manage stress and do their best work for you.
  • Be flexible where you can with schedules and communications to help your team adjust to changing family and personal needs. Encourage employees to take time off. With most travel on hold, some people aren’t taking breaks. Some organizations have even recently made time off mandatory for their employees.

 

It's easier than ever to get bogged down in day to day stresses, but taking the time to  take care of your employees and yourself will pay dividends in the long run.