How Local Business Owners Can Avoid Burnout

Running a local business comes with extra responsibility, long work hours and a lot of challenges, and all of this can lead to owners experiencing burnout. Feelings of burnout are caused by prolonged and excessive amounts of stress, and people often feel fatigued, overwhelmed, and emotionally drained. According to a study done in 2018, 78 percent of businesses owners with a business that is less than two years old experienced burnout, and as a business matures, businesses owners are more likely to experience burnout.

Although these feelings are fairly common, that does not mean you will simply “get over them.” These feelings will inevitably affect your business and spill over in your personal life, as well as lead to health issues if not resolved.

If you are a small business owner who is experiencing feelings of burnout, remember that it is important to address them. Here are a few ways you can re-energize yourself so that you can be the best owner possible, as well as feel refreshed in your personal life.

Schedule Your Breaks

One of the best ways you can make sure that you don’t find yourself running ragged is to schedule breaks into your work day. Whether it’s 5 minutes for meditation or 20 minutes for a walk, taking time to walk away and think about other things will allow your brain to stay healthy.

Many business owners tend to work through lunch and take little to no breaks in between phone calls, meetings, and tasks. However, this is a perfect storm to make you feel as though the day is never ending. By strategically placing time into your day where you are allowed to step away from the computer or customers, you are giving yourself time to re-energize. Many business owners will block off time on their work calendar, so that they are guaranteed time to stop and refresh.

Find a Way to Unplug

In addition to taking small breaks throughout your work day, another technique to stave off burnout is to take time away from work and unplug from phone calls, social media, and emails. Many owners refrain from taking vacations or breaks on the weekends, which is a sure-fire way to end up feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. 

If you can, find time to completely unplug. Whether it’s a long weekend or an entire week, make sure that you give you’re working brain a break at least once a year, which will help your mental health and keep you feeling positive.

Get Organized

One of the biggest stressors for small business owners is not having control of the day-to-day administration activities. When you are busy, one of the first things to often go out the door is organization, and the last thing you want to do is dig through a pile of papers or digital documents on your computer to find something.

Instead of getting frustrated, take some time to get organized. Clean up those files, organize the folders on your computer, and determine a smooth process for paperwork so that you can easily find what you need.

Connect with Other Business Owners

Making time to intentionally connect with other business owners is important, especially during seasons of stress. As the recent pandemic has taken a toll on all businesses, a lot of people are experiencing worry, fear, and worsening mental health conditions. Even though it is easy to feel isolated, finding someone to relate to can help alleviate extra stress.

It is vital for business owners to find support outside of their own family and employees, as other professionals can help serve as a sounding board or offer ideas on how to streamline a process. Find other professionals on LinkedIn or Facebook, or find community forums for small business owners to connect.

Here at Blackhawk Bank, we want to make sure that community business owners find time to take care of themselves. Want to learn more about Blackhawk Bank? Contact us today!


Andy Williams, Senior Vice President and Senior Lender Business Banking on Perryville Road in Rockford IlllinoisAndy Williams
Senior Vice President & Senior Lender Business Banking