5 Steps to Avoid Small Business Owner Burnout

“I have to do everything myself.”

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

“No one has the passion for this business that I do.”

This kind of thinking leads many entrepreneurs to become workaholics that eventually fall prey to burnout. However, you do have a choice! You can let yourself hit the burnout wall or take steps now to avoid it.

  1. Recognize the signs. Owner burnout doesn’t happen overnight. These red flags might be indicating you’re headed in that direction:
  • Lack of energy to do even the smallest tasks
  • Frustration and negative feelings about the business
  • Poor decision-making and difficulty focusing
  • Making mistakes you never used to make
  • Inability to not think about work—even when you’re with family or friends
  • Losing your temper over minor things
  • Sleeplessness
  • Health issues

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to take action to make sure your business runs smoothly and continues to grow without it taking a toll on your mental or physical health.

  1. When you own a business, there is a seemingly unending list of things that need to be done, and done right away. Developing a prioritized task list helps owners think through their top areas of focus versus those that are necessary but of lower value to the business. One resource you can tap to help you narrow the focus is your current customers. Your clients can help you figure out what the business—and you—should focus on next. Ask them what you’re doing well, where you need help and what opportunities to add value you might be missing.


  1. Get help. You’ve no doubt heard it before—delegation is the key to avoiding owner burnout. It’s also the path to a well-managed business, ripe for growth. Once you have your list of priorities, it’s time to decide how you will assign and manage the work. You can’t do it all on your own—at least not exactly when the business needs it to be done. Assess your strengths and weaknesses as well as your team’s and map out the plan of what you will take on versus delegating to others.


  1. Explore your options. You can delegate in several ways, but above all else, you’ll want to be sure the system you set up is reliable and will be able to flex with the business as it grows. You can choose to hire additional, new talent. You might also opt to go with independent contractors instead of incurring the expense of permanent employees. For cost-effective supply chain management, such as assembly and kitting services, many small businesses will decide to outsource with a third-party logistics company.


  1. Outsource the right way. Some small business owners end up carrying too much weight on their shoulders for a pragmatic reason: the business isn’t able to afford to hire the talent it needs to move forward. Once leaders understand they can’t afford not to delegate, outsourcing tasks that can be handled more cost-effectively by others is a smart move.

If you’re a small business owner looking to take your business to the next level, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industrial Services is the right choice. Small companies have trusted our packaging, fulfillment, assembly and kitting services for decades because they know our team dedicates itself to doing your job right. Best of all, businesses which partner with Ohio Valley Goodwill for outsourcing services support our mission to provide meaningful employment to individuals with disabilities.

Business owners in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky or Southeast Indiana, contact our B2B professionals to learn more and receive a free tour of our facilities.