A new survey shows small businesses owners are stressed, while at the same time eager to take on new challenges. If this seems like a contradiction, it only further highlights small business owners’ insistence on pushing themselves, always looking for that extra hour in the day that doesn’t exist.
The survey of 1,000 small business owners found three-fourths of the respondents report physical symptoms of work-related stress. Those symptoms include headaches, back pain, and anxious thoughts. Most cited a fear of losing their business and losing clients as a cause of their stress. The economy has taken its toll on many small business owners, who are feeling more pressure than ever to keep things going.
“Managing a small business can be liberating and rewarding, but over the last few years it has become increasingly stressful,” said Kevin Kerridge, small business insurance expert at small business insurancer Hiscox. “It is clear that small business owners remain determined, focused and flexible, but are also working harder to keep up with pressures facing them and their teams.”
But even with all of this stress, small business owners say they are prepared to take on new challenges, showing small business owners’ perseverance. The majority of these business owners state that they do not believe the economy is in recovery mode, but despite this, most say they expect their business to grow in the upcoming year.
With all of this pressure, it’s more important than ever for small business owners to use technology to automate processes. By automating mundane tasks, small business owners can continue to operate with limited staff, while freeing up their time to focus on more important things. Here are three tech-related solutions that can help your day run more smoothly.
- Take it online. Whether it’s appointment scheduling or information about your operations, you’ll save time and money in the long run by putting as much information as possible on your company website. Tally up the number of calls and e-mails you field on a daily basis with basic questions and consider how much time could be changed if just a fraction of those calls could be resolved via a visit to your company website
- Employ an answering service. If you’re still answering your own calls, how much could you save by paying a fee to an answering service to take care of your calls. If you have someone in-house who takes calls and even makes appointments, again think of the website option. Could time be saved by allowing customers to make appointments through your website? Unless you can somehow link your appointment book to your website, this might require copying and pasting the information into your software, but it will save time with answering phone calls, as well as making appointment scheduling more convenient for the customer.
- Automate your inventory. No more counting and writing numbers on a clipboard. By using inventory automation software, you can always stay in touch with the items in your inventory. Not only will this speed up inventory, but you’ll be able to have instant access to what is in stock, which makes reordering easier.
If you’re one of the many stressed small business owners, look at the processes you currently have in place to determine what can be handled by technology. With so many solutions available, you should be able to free up some time without hiring additional staff.