How to prevent entrepreneurial burn out

I developed Skool Loop to bridge the communication gap between parents/caregivers and schools. The free-to-use app streamlines functions including e-Signatures for permission slips, absentee reporting capabilities, push notifications for instant alert messaging, up-to-date school event calendars and key school contacts all into the single app. The app is used in m ore than 800 schools in Australia and New Zealand, and I now manage 15 staff across two offices in Canterbury, New Zealand.

Here are my tips on how to prevent burn out as a small-business owner and entrepreneur:

1. Delegate the small stuff, concentrate on the big stuff

Chances are that if you’re a small biz owner, you will have employed a highly-capable and skilled team that you’re confident in. Allow your team to handle smaller day-to-day tasks while you concentrate your energy on building your brand and business, R&D, and looking after your team.

2. Protect yourself from employees that take advantage of stringent employment laws

Before you build your team, invest time and money to ensure you’re meeting your obligations as an employer. Make sure your employee contracts are legally sound and seek workplace law advice if you aren’t certain about your responsibilities.

Use a workplace relations company like Employsure to help protect you from employees that take advantage of the stringent employment laws which can be stacked against employers. It’s extremely stressful for all concerned when workplace incidents happen, and they always do happen. In these situations, it’s important to understand your employer responsibilities but also how to protect yourself and your company.

3. Use technology wisely

Make technology your friend – it’s a time and headache saver if you use it smartly. Accounting software is a game changer for businesses. Services like Xero can take the work out of monthly accounting by allowing you to lodge payslips, create invoices and log employee leave all in an automated fashion.

Take advantage of free platforms like Slack to streamline all your workplace’s communications.

Keep on top of your emails – don’t let them pile and clutter your inbox. Delete any unnecessary emails during your daily email check. Sub folders help for filing as well. You can purchase email cleaning software to manage junk and unnecessary emails, but this may not be a requirement if you check and manage your emails frequently.

4. Read, eat and exercise

Find a way to maintain a healthy diet even when you’re time poor. If you’re working in a high-stress environment, you need to give your body some TLC to ensure you don’t burn out. If you know you have a busy week ahead plan your lunches on Sunday for the week coming. Eat antioxidant-rich foods like fruit and nuts regularly to promote good brain function and try avoiding highly-processed foods.

Reading a book can help turn your “work brain” off, but also improves vocabulary and language, and stimulates your mind in a different way from work.

5. Look at unconventional ways to fund your business

Finding capital in any economic climate can be difficult – whether you’re looking to launch your business, expand, or need money to cover a financial deficit. Try investigating unconventional ways to fund your business. I created Skool Loop with a personal investment of NZD$10,000 and backing from angel investors. We are now turning over more than NZD$1.2million per annum, but investment at the early-stage was critical in Skool Loop becoming the business it is today.

Consider all the various ways to fund your business and which one(s) suit you best:

  • self-funding
  • crowdfunding
  • angel investors
  • private equity
  • venture capital
  • go public
  • pledge some of your future earnings
  • find a strategic partner.

Sharlene Barnes, Founder, Skool Loop App

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