Stress isn’t just an issue for entrepreneurs. Overwork and overwhelm can have a catastrophic impact on the ability of a business to grow and thrive.
When businesses are in a constant state of flux and disorganization, they lose customers. The internal running becomes inefficient driving costs up, client communications fail, and the business takes its eye off the competition.
Each of these things is a disaster in itself but taken together, a disorganized business can be a shortcut to failure and bankruptcy.
If your business has reached the point where you are stressed and overwhelmed, how can you get it back on track? Here are four simple strategies.
1. Focus On Your Customer Service
Successful business puts the customer first. It requires five times the money, time, and effort to sign a brand new customer compared to holding on to a current one. Never forget how valuable your existing customers are.
Survey your existing customers to find out their pain points and put in place a customer service plan. A simple satisfaction questionnaire does not take much time to create but it will give you an insight into areas you must improve.
Be proactive with your customers. Stress and chaos come from being in a reactive state, having to answer endless queries or complaints from customers.
Predicting problems early and resolving them before a customer notices can help you reduce the time you need on customer service.
2. Streamline Your Client Communications
Regular, clear, and honest communication to your customers will stand your company apart from the competition. You can do this by putting a communications plan in place.
A communications plan will outline what you need to tell your customers, how, and when. Having this written out makes it simple for your staff to follow and adhere to.
Understand which communication channels work best for your customers. Will an email suffice, or is their email inbox already overloaded? Are they tech-savvy, or would they prefer the old-fashioned mail in the post?
Think about linking with 3rd parties to boost your communications. For an eCommerce business, for example, live delivery updates help boost your communications. And it takes very little effort on your part.
Getting communications right can help build trust and respect in your business. It will also make it easier for you to stay on top of your business as you grow, which will be a welcome stress relief.
3. Outsourcing For A More Efficient Business
Entrepreneurs, heavily invested in a business that they feel the need to maintain full control, are sometimes slow to outsource work.
But if you don’t outsource, you will still lose control, as you can only do so much on your own. Outsourcing is a natural part of business growth. Every entrepreneur must embrace it.
It takes time to outsource, so start early before you feel ready. Create written processes for your business as this will make it easier to delegate key tasks to freelancers and other staff.
Search globally for the right skill set when outsourcing. The nature of remote work in 2021 makes it easier than ever before to work from anywhere, which means you can always find the best person for the job.
Outsourcing customer-facing tasks is also a great idea. It means you are investing in the aspect of your business that is going to help you grow: keeping your customers happy.
To further reduce your stress levels, consider hiring a manager to oversee the outsourced elements of your business.
This requires continuous communication and coordination so getting in someone to help this will help your operations to run smoothly.
4. Investing in Technology
As well as investing in people, invest in technology. There are many technical solutions open to businesses now. Smart technology can boost efficiencies. It can keep your business ticking over, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Bots have come a long way since companies first started to adopt them. Big companies are now using bots as the first communication line for customer support. This reduces business operating costs and improves customer service.
Technology to help with some of your internal processes, such as payroll, can also be a good idea. This will reduce the pressure on you to recruit for specialist roles if you can find software that can support your team.
Investing in state-of-the-art technology can also help you get personal downtime from your business. For example, this second phone line service can give you the ability to keep all work communications separate.
Always shop around for the best technology deal. But remember that the best technical solutions will save you time and money in the long run, and offer convenience for you and your business.
5. Strategic Planning
When you are overloaded running the day-to-day operations of your business, it becomes almost impossible to look at the bigger picture.
Removing yourself from the detail and focusing on the strategic direction of your business is ultimately what will help you to grow.
Get organized. Create a 12-month business plan that will help you focus on where you need to improve your operational efficiency.
A plan will help you prioritize what investments you need to make and what aspects of your business you should look to outsource.
Don’t Let Your Business Embrace Chaos
It’s time to take an honest look at your business. Are things running like clockwork, or are you lying awake at night worrying about everything that is going wrong?
It’s time to get organized. Whether it’s up-leveling your customer service support, improving client communications, outsourcing, investing in technology, or planning, it’s time to turn things around.
Do this, and you can support your business through tough times and also help it to grow.
What’s your top tip for ensuring your business runs smoothly? Tell us in the comments below.