For business owners, finding ways to manage stress is really important. As a franchisee, you’ll be meeting many different demands and completing many different tasks. If you let stress begin to control your day-to-day life, you will suffer, and so will your franchise. Here are five stress management solutions.
Running your own business will be much more easy and sustainable in the long term if you can take on board these franchisee tips and implement them in your working life in order to reduce stress.
The importance of effective stress management in the workplace
A successful franchisee should be organised, competent and friendly to staff and customers. When you’re stressed out every second of the day, it’s easy to let any of these qualities lapse, but when you’re running a franchise, doing so could really damage what you’re trying to accomplish. The amount of stress you’re experiencing could, for example, cause you to forget an important meeting or mean that you speak sharply to a loyal customer.
Effective stress management in the workplace is essential, for yourself and for the mental wellbeing of your employees. In 2019-20, 17.9 million working days were lost in Great Britain due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety [Labour Force Survey]. This tells you, loud and clear, that if you don’t manage mental health as you would physical health, your franchise operation will suffer as a result.
The most important thing to remember is that you should strive to take action before the point of no return. As a franchisee with lots of responsibilities, there will always be things in your working day that cause you stress. Sometimes, you’ll be able to reduce your stress. Other times, you’ll need to figure out how to manage it, before it overwhelms you.
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Five ways to reduce and manage stress as a franchisee
1. Recognise when you’re exceeding your own capacity
Setting realistic expectations for yourself and others is crucial to the reduction of workplace stress. In fact, workload is the biggest surveyed cause of employee stress, especially when huge deadlines have tight turnaround times [Labour Force Survey]. It’s up to you, as a franchisee, to recognise the moments when you’re trying to do too much.
Successfully navigating the workload is actually one of the biggest parts of developing as a franchisee, and a part that many have to learn by doing. Remember that, often, you’re the one setting the schedule. Stop over-estimating the number of hours there are in the day, and start scheduling less meetings.
2. Learn to outsource and delegate wherever you can
If you need something done, but you don’t have the time to do it, don’t be afraid to delegate to a trusted employee, or to outsource if you don’t have employees. Some tasks, only you can do. Others, you can pass on. If you find yourself regularly having to outsource work, or with too much to delegate and not enough employees to delegate to, it might be time to add a few members to the team.
Think about it like this: If your franchise business is always growing, what worked a year or two ago isn’t going to work forever. You need to dynamically respond, and keep stress levels manageable by making sure you have enough team members on board to handle the level of work.
3. Determine your biggest stressors and tackle them head on with a plan of action
Rank all your to-dos, and prioritise the most important things first. When your tasks are clearly ranked by importance, you’ll find it harder to avoid the ones causing you the most stress. This might seem counter-intuitive to the reduction of stress, but the truth is, if you get that anxiety-inducing task ticked off your list by 10am, the rest of your day will feel a thousand times less stressful.
Also, consider which tasks and processes can be automated and taken off your to-do list altogether. Technology is rapidly advancing, and with it, all kinds of helpful, time-saving software. If you’re spending an hour each day manually inputting something that a computer could do in five minutes, you probably need to increase your investment in digital solutions.
Overall using automation to organize your workflows can reduce confusion and save time, hence reducing stress.
—Kwame Abioye, Quickwork
4. Look after your mental health, at home and at work
If you don’t pay attention to your own mental wellbeing, and you fail to make personal efforts to reduce your stress, you might find yourself burning out, and your franchise might suffer as a result. Look after yourself and your mental health by:
- Caring for your physical health, too – Exercising can reduce stress by increasing the production of endorphins and putting you in a good mood. Sixty two percent of adults say that exercising or walking to manage stress is extremely effective for them [American Psychology Association].
- Making time for wellbeing at work – This point is especially relevant if you’re running a franchise with employees. Developing workplace-wide wellbeing practices and rejecting toxic business habits will ensure that everyone feels safe, happy and able to handle the demands of their role.
- Maintaining clear boundaries between work and home – Don’t check your work emails when you should be relaxing on the sofa at home. Try not to work outside of your set working hours. Yes, you’re a franchisee, and you’re responsible for a lot, but you’re also well within your rights to enjoy a life outside of work. For your own mental health, set clear boundaries and stick to them.
>> 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
Celebrate wins and evaluate losses
When something goes right for your franchisee, cheer on this success and take the time and space to truly celebrate it. Don’t simply move straight on to the next thing. Conversely, when something goes wrong, don’t try to avoid it and move past it without acknowledgement. Take the time to evaluate and ask yourself:
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
- How can I ensure that it doesn’t happen again?
When you know exactly what went wrong and you can develop a plan of action to remedy this wrong in future, you won’t feel nearly as stressed as you would if you just tried to ignore it and breeze by. Openness, honesty and communication are three things you’ll need to incorporate in your franchise workplace culture if you want to truly reduce stress.
Unchecked franchisee stress can negatively impact you and your business
When you start a franchise, you want it to succeed. This is natural, and normal. You want it to thrive in its sector and stay on a path of growth. But the way to do this will never be simply to push as hard as you can, because doing so will only lead you to burnout and breakdown. Developing effective ways to manage your stress is an absolutely key part of life as a successful franchisee. For more franchisee tips and tricks, browse Point Franchise’s range of articles.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©