Burnout is a very real issue for business owners across the world; a mixture of outside pressure and internal drive can lead entrepreneurs to take on unhealthy working habits. So, what are the symptoms and how can you avoid burnout before it becomes a problem?
Every part of being a franchisee has the potential to be stressful. Not only are you making a significant financial and emotional investment, but you’ve also got to live up to the expectations of both the franchisor and your employees. When you’re passionate and committed to making your business a success, the constant pressure can take its toll.
What is burnout?
Someone is said to be experiencing burnout when they reach a period of prolonged stress and exhaustion. They no longer feel enthusiastic about their work and they may even believe their professional abilities have diminished.
Burnout can - and is likely to - occur when you dedicate an unreasonable amount of time and energy to your work. Everyone needs to rest and take time to themselves, and allowing yourself to become consumed by the running of your business can have disastrous consequences.
While people suffering from burnout can recover by taking time to recharge, the problem can easily lead to more serious conditions like anxiety and depression if they don’t take action.
How to avoid burnout as a franchisee
When you run your own business, you can't just talk to your boss and ask to take a temporary step back from your duties. Unfortunately, this sad fact leads many entrepreneurs to consider quitting altogether when they hit a wall. However, the key is to find a happy medium, continuing to grow the business while finding ways to more effectively manage the workload.
Here are some of our top tips for avoiding burnout as an established franchisee:
1. Get organised - It’s easy to lose time on day-to-day admin activities, but franchisees who don’t efficiently manage their tasks end up working overtime. By taking advantage of clever software solutions and handy productivity techniques like time-blocking, you can boost your output and maximise efficiency.
2. Delegate and outsource - It’s important to recognise which tasks are worth your time. Sometimes, it’s impossible to complete all the necessary work during business hours - and sometimes you find one or two activities particularly tedious. Don’t be afraid to hand certain jobs over to others; it will probably help you improve your overall productivity and profitability in the long run.
3. Collaborate with others - Sometimes working on a different project with someone else can inject new energy into your life as a franchisee.
When work feels either monotonous or overwhelming, I look beyond myself and seek out friends and former colleagues to collaborate on something new entirely, whether it be a side project, a cross-promotional campaign or an audit of each other’s businesses.
—Danny Wong, Blank Label co-founder
>> Read more:
- 15 Tips for Staying Positive and Being Supportive During the COVID-19 Crisis
- 20 Questions: How Can I Maintain My Well-Being During the COVID-19 Crisis?
- How to Protect Your Mental Health During Tough Times
- Is Mental Health Support Part of Your Franchise Package? (It Should Be)
- 10 Clever Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as a Franchisee
4. Set work hours… and stick to them - Although this tip is easier said than done, there are many ways to make sure you follow your work schedule. We’ve written a number of guides on boosting productivity, both through clever techniques and innovative apps.
5. Prioritise self-care - It’s all too easy to forget to look after yourself as a business owner, particularly if you have a team of employees to oversee. But self-care is a key part of avoiding burnout. Discover ways to protect your mental health as a franchisee and find comfort in informative podcasts designed to support business owners.
6. Switch off during non-work hours - Turning off your mobile phone, leaving emails unchecked and spending quality time with family and friends is vital to your longevity as a franchisee. Not only will these simple steps help to reduce your stress, but your loved ones will benefit too.
7. Get eight hours of sleep - Sleepless nights seem to go hand-in-hand with business ownership, but your ability to concentrate, judge situations and manage stress is compromised if you don’t get enough rest. Finding ways to drift off is crucial.
>> Read more:
8. Explore new avenues - Looking to the future can help you escape from a tedious cycle of daily tasks. Try taking inspiration from people and businesses around you and establish targets to track your achievements.
Researching new ideas for growth and creating new goals and milestones gives me the energy kick I need to push through to get the work done. I absolutely love creating to-do lists for this, and I get great satisfaction crossing a task off the list when it is completed.
—Haris Bacic, Bacic Media Group founder
9. Exercise - There’s lots of data showing daily physical activity is a great way to reduce stress. In fact, the NHS recommends adults take 20 minutes of exercise a day, so you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to see the benefits.
10. Take breaks - Every now and then, spend five minutes doing what makes you happy. Read a fiction book, grab a cup of coffee, phone a friend or listen to music. Taking a few minutes away from your desk should help you feel refreshed when you return.
11. Ask for help - Instead of struggling alone, potentially wasting time and effort trying to resolve problems single-handedly, reach out to your franchisor. After all, your franchise fees pay for their ongoing support.
12. Celebrate your achievements - Take time out to recognise the milestones you reach - and remember them when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. It’ll make you feel happier and more confident in your abilities, so you can return to work with renewed energy and optimism.
The moment I hear from a reader, or from someone who viewed a webinar I presented, or anyone who tells me I helped them, taught them something or reignited their passion, I’m renewed.
—Rieva Lesonksy, GrowBiz Media, SmallBizDaily.com CEO & President
Research can also help you avoid burnout
The better you understand the franchise world, the more effectively you can develop a productive business and protect your mental health to avoid burnout. You’ll find new, data-driven business guides on our portal every day.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©