7 steps to avoid burnout as a B2B business owner
Entrepreneurship is a big deal for all the millennials out there.
Many of them run their B2B start-ups, side hustles, or are thinking about giving up their day job to live the life of an entrepreneur.
This flow of thinking leads many entrepreneurs to become workaholics, eventually falling prey to “burnout”.
In case you’re not sure what burnout is, here’s a quick description:
It effectively is a state of heightened physical or emotional stress. It’s usually brought on by overwork or overexposure to an emotionally or physically demanding situation.
If you’ve ever sat at your desk and despaired that you’ll never get anything done, suddenly feeling too tired to work, that probably is burnout.
Believe it or not but according to a recent Gallup study, around 23% of 7500 B2B employees surveyed reported feeling burned out at work “very often” or “always”. Another 44% in the survey reported an occasional feeling of burnout.
That simply makes up 67% of the respondents suffering from some degree of burnout during their working life.
Thus, it’s safe to say – “BURNOUT” is an issue that affects a vast amount of the workforce, but we still don’t know what to do about it when it hits us.
But here’s the good news – ‘it can be avoided’.
Yes..you can let yourself hit the burnout wall or take several steps now to avoid it.
So let us now explore some ways to avoid burnout and bring some more balance into your life as a small business owner.
Wherein, the first step is to recognize the signs or what we may like to call “THE RED FLAGS”.
RED FLAGS indicating that you’re heading towards a BURNOUT:
- Inadequate energy to do even the smallest tasks
- Frustration and negative feelings about your business
- Poor decision-making skills and difficulty in focusing on work
- Making silly mistakes you never made before
- You always think about work 24*7—even when you’re with family or friends
- Losing your temper over trivial things
- Various health issues
If any of the above symptoms sound familiar, it’s high time to take action to make sure your business runs smoothly. So that it continues to grow without it taking a toll on your mental or physical well-being.
Steps to avoid burnout as a B2B business owner
1.Explore all your available options
You can start by delegating in different ways, but above everything else, you’ll want to be sure the system you set up is reliable and will be able to flex with your business as it grows.
You can also choose to hire supplementary, new talent.
Or you might opt to go with independent contractors instead of incurring the expense of permanent B2B employees.
For cost-effective B2B supply chain management, such as assembly and kitting services, small businesses can further decide to outsource with a third-party logistics company.
2.Outsource tasks the right way
Some small B2B business owners end up carrying a burden on their shoulders for a pragmatic reason – their business isn’t able to afford to hire the talent it needs in order to move ahead.
Once B2B leaders understand they can’t afford not to delegate, outsourcing tasks that can be handled more cost-effectively by others can prove to be an intelligent move.
3.Know exactly when to hire
When you initially start, you do every task yourself.
This makes complete sense because you’re likely not profitable yet and you’re still shaping what your B2B business will eventually become.
But once your business grows and stabilizes, consider focusing your attention on the main drivers of revenue (like bringing in and retaining prospects, producing a certain product, or being the public face of your firm).
But the question remains.. how can you carve out the time to do this?
Hire rockstars and start outsourcing tasks!
But it’s scary to let someone else handle some of the work. So you need to give it a good amount of time.
A few good hires will give you the time and space to dedicate towards growing your B2B business way more than you would have been able to do all alone.
4.Know exactly when not to hire
Adding the right people to your B2B sales or marketing team is important, but what’s more important is: regularly looking over your work processes to make sure they’re as streamlined as possible.
That simply helps prevent inefficiencies you think can only be solved by hiring someone (which is expensive obviously!).
You might need to adjust how you complete certain tasks.
So save your hiring budget for when you need it the most.
5.Take your time to unplug
Give yourself periodic breaks where you can stay away from your emails, set your phone to “do not disturb,” and recharge.
Ideally, you don’t have to work on every vacation you take, but even the occasional personal day helps.
You can build personal days into your schedule where you can take a yoga class, meet up with a friend, or even just get some errands done.
Block off your calendar and, if needed, let your employees and clients know you’ll be unavailable during that time.
Depending on the nature of your B2B business, your employees may be able to cover for you while you’re away, or your business may just go quiet for a few days.
But we promise it will survive, and you’ll be a better business owner when you come back refreshed, recharged, and ready to work!
And encourage your employees to take time off, too.
Your business can also suffer due to burned-out staff, but it will thrive if everyone has the space to take breaks.
So go and unplug yourself.
6.Practice time blocking religiously
Decide which days and times you want to take phone calls or meetings and do your best to stick to this schedule.
You may even want to build in a 15 or 30 minutes buffer in between calls for any wrap up needed. This will slowly allow you to focus on clients’ work on certain days and strategy work on other days.
Schedule certain times of the day for emails as well. We know that you’re not great at this but you should ignore your inbox for a while so that you can focus on the most important tasks you need to complete that day on priority.
If you have a series of phone calls to return, take them all at the same time.
By batching up tasks you’ll find that you’re more productive and able to knock out more work in less time.
7.Ask for help
We know you may have heard it before—delegation is the key to avoiding owner burnout.
But it’s also the path to a well-managed business, ripe for growth.
Once you have your list of priorities, it’s time to decide on how you will assign and manage the work. You can’t do it all on your own—at least not exactly how and when the business needs it to be done.
So, assess your strengths and weaknesses as well as your team’s and map out the right plan of what you will take on versus delegating to others.
Get help from the PROs
Professional help can be overpriced, but it’s a worthwhile investment for your business and your peace of mind.
Even if you’re an expert in something, a pro can uniquely see your business than you do and help you avoid pitfalls.
But..who are these pros?
A small B2B business attorney
As your business grows and you begin to hire contractors and work with more clients, it’s extremely important that you hire a lawyer to help you with contracts, trademarking, setting up an LLC, etc.
Don’t just try to save money in this area when it could cost you a ton of it in the future.
Some legal documents are state-specific, so be aware of this as well.
A financial planner and an accountant
We highly recommend that B2B entrepreneurs work with financial professionals.
You’re already dealing with a lot that you didn’t consider when you worked full-time for an employer: uneven or negative income, business expenses, quarterly estimated tax payments, and more.
So it’s more important than ever to set money goals and have someone in your corner who can not only keep you accountable but can also help you adjust your plans as needed.
And trust us: you do not want to screw up your tax return!
Your financial planner can work with your CPA to find tax planning opportunities in addition to ways to grow your net worth over the long term.
A business coach
It seems like anyone with an Instagram account full of inspirational quotes is trying to make money as a coach these days, so you need to choose your business coach carefully.
The right coach can be extremely helpful in taking your B2B business to the next level.
Look for someone who integrates building your B2B business to support the life that you want.
You don’t just want someone to complain to for an hour a week (that’s what friends are for!).
An effective coach hears all your concerns, and then works to broaden your perspective and challenge your assumptions.
They come prepared with tools, book recommendations, and action steps you can complete to help create the change you want in your business.
But why would an entrepreneur need a therapist?
Because you blew up your stable life and financial security to follow your dreams and that’s terrifying.
Because you’re sacrificing self-care, sleep, and time with loved ones to get your business off the ground and you’re left feeling frazzled.
Because imposter syndrome is real and intensifies when you’re launching a business.
And a therapist can help you navigate the emotional highs and lows of being an entrepreneur.
You Are Your Most Important Client
It’s so easy to sacrifice your well-being to please others when you run a business. But in my experience, your B2B business is more successful, and your clients are much happier, when you can be fully present.
And to do that, you need to run your business in an effective way that leaves you time to take good care of yourself.
Hopefully, these tools can help you avoid burnout in your journey as a small business owner and instead build a business around your ideal life!
If you’re a small business owner looking to take your business to the next level, our B2B Sales & Marketing Consultancy firm is the right choice for you. Contact us today!