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Three effective ways small business owners can enhance their wellbeing

ANZ Financially Ready

2023-12-04 05:30

Key points

  • The importance of looking after your personal wellbeing in business
  • Setting boundaries, asking for help and untangling your finances can all benefit your personal wellbeing
  • Financial and emotional wellbeing are connected

Running a small business requires physical, emotional, mental and financial dedication. This level of commitment can often lead to stress and anxiety, or other issues that can have a negative influence on business operations. And when it comes to your business, you’re the number one asset.

In 2022, the Australian Government Treasurydisclaimer reported that one in five (22%) small business owners were diagnosed with mental health issues. One of the key stressors identified was finding a balance between work, family, and personal life.

What are the benefits of looking after your wellbeing?

Since wellbeing can help improve your social relationships and increase your productivity levels, both of which are important for small business owners, there are lots of reasons to take this seriously.

Small business owners understand all too well the feeling of being overwhelmed, because other people – friends, family, staff or business partners – depend on them. The pressure to ‘do it all’ can cause even the strongest of wills to crack, especially when we don’t have, or implement, strategies to manage our wellbeing.

How to manage your wellbeing

When you’re deep in the trenches of building a business, there are a few key steps to take that can help you to find that balance and better manage your overall wellbeing.

1. Set boundaries

Setting clear boundaries is an effective way to help you strike a better balance between work, family and personal commitments.

There are lots of ways you can do this, such as:

  • Set a work schedule for when you’re online or available and try to stick to it so that you don’t overwork
  • Say ‘no’ more often, especially if it’s not a priority or something that will help you achieve your goals
  • Don't overschedule your days with calls and meetings – or if that’s a big part of your business, schedule in blocks of time for focus, family and fun as well
  • Be honest and set expectations with your clients

2. Untangle your finances

Financial challenges can be multiplied when the lines between your business and your personal finances are blurred, but relying on your own emergency funds to stay afloat can be risky.

Your financial wellbeing is often tied to your emotional and physical wellbeing. If your business is still finding its feet financially, it can cause significant stress that affects your health.

The best thing you can do for your business, your family and yourself, is to make sure you’re moving forward with a plan for how your business will run in good times and in bad – including how you’ll operate within it.

3. Ask for help

While not easy, asking for help is one of the best things you can do, especially if you’re a small business owner.

Already, around 42% of small business owners talk to a trusted family member for their mental health, while 32% talk to a frienddisclaimer. And whether they just listen or provide practical advice, talking to someone in your life that you trust can be a fantastic way to find support.

While talking about your stresses and feelings is important, help can also come physically – whether packing products or supporting with childcare for the week.

Next steps

If you feel like your emotional wellbeing is becoming harder to manage, then there are some steps you can take to get your wellbeing (and your business) back on track.

  • Build a support network. Whether it’s a trusted family member or a mental health professional, having people you can talk to can help ease the emotional burden – remember, you’re not alone in this.
  • Work with your support network to plan how you will manage your emotional wellbeing. This includes setting time aside for yourself and working to improve your wellbeing.
  • Bookmark online resources – such as Beyond Blue – for quick access to resources and help.
  • And when you’re ready for it, map out a business plan. This will help give you and your business direction to help you feel more in control of things.
Three effective ways small business owners can enhance their wellbeing
Business specialist
ANZ Financially Ready

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This is general information only, so it doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. ANZ is not giving you advice or recommendations (including tax advice), and there may be other ways to manage finances, planning and decisions for your business.

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