No one ever said that running a business was easy, but there are certain aspects that tend to be more stressful than others. While every entrepreneur has different pressure points, these are among the most common.

1. Having More to Do Than Is Feasible

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: every day, you chip away at your to-do list, but by the end of the day, it looks like you’ve barely made a dent. Or you spend so long doing the day-to-day that you don’t have enough time to actually work on your growth strategy.

The fact of having a ton to do in your business won’t change, but how you tackle the tasks can make a huge difference. Before you assume you can’t afford to delegate any of your work to others, look at your options.

  • Intern: If you have small tasks that an inexperienced intern can handle, like make copies or do light writing, the price is right (free or minimum wage a few hours a week). You might even end up cultivating your next employee!
  • Part-Time: This is a good option for retail or restaurants, and frees you up to focus on those administrative and strategic tasks.
  • Full-Time: If you have enough work and the budget for it, hiring one or more full-time employees can help you in specific functions for your business, like marketing or accounting. Hire for the roles you don’t excel at.
  • Consultant or Freelancer: If you need help with a specific project, like website or logo design or writing blog content, hiring a consultant or freelancer might be more affordable than you’d expect.

2. Cash Not Flowing

Late-paying clients can really put a cramp in your ability to pay your own vendors. When you rely on accounts receivable to help you with accounts payable, every little delay can put a pit in your stomach.

To avoid a cash crunch, set aside even just 10% of each payment you receive into a savings account. This way, when you need to pay your bills, you have that money as a buffer.

If your clients consistently pay late, make sure your payment terms are clearly listed on each invoice. You can try a couple of other strategies to get clients to pay on time:

  • Provide a small discount for early payments
  • Charge a late fee for late payments

3. Consistently Subpar Work From Employees

When you do get over that first hurdle of having too much to do and actually hire employees to spread the workload around, it can be super frustrating when your staff is doing less than their best.

Having regular reviews for each employee is a good way to keep them on track with your expectations, but if you see one in particular declining in productivity all of a sudden, take him or her aside and just ask about it. The reason could be that something else in his or her life is adversely affecting performance. If that’s the case, then cut him or her a little slack, but make it known you expect to see him or her putting in more effort.

4. Competition Taking Your Business Away

There will never, ever come a day when you don’t have competitors. But how you handle them will determine whether they’re really a threat to your business or not.

If you’re losing market share to competitors, start looking at your own business in comparison. What do the other companies have that’s luring your customers away? Is it better pricing? Better service? More features? Assess what you can do to get your edge back and reach out to your former customers to get them to return.

It does no good to lose your top over these stressors in your business. Instead, identify them before the pressure is too much, and make strides to lessen the ordeal.

For more information on how to deal with the pressures of business ownership, read our article on the three ways to stop stress from financially hurting your business.

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