Small business owners are no stranger to challenging situations, and as cases of COVID-19 rise throughout the U.S., these savvy entrepreneurs continue to rise to the occasion and tackle these stressors in familiar ways.
In our third annual Inside Small Business Survey, fielded in February before the pandemic with more than 1,000 respondents, we found that the top three most-stressful aspects of owning and working at a small business are heavy workloads (15%), long work hours (12%) and tight deadlines (11%). In order to combat these stressors, small business owners adopt three approaches: just working through it (60%), prioritizing tasks/responsibilities (44%) and analyzing the situation for a solution/plan of action (39%).
As small business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators alike wade through the stress of both daily life and an unprecedented pandemic, here are a few tips:
- We all have preferences when it comes to our most productive time frame during the workday. If you’re an early bird or night owl, be sure to align your most important work during your most productive hours. If a traditional schedule isn’t your style, don’t force yourself to change.
- Capture all tasks on one large list and then break it down by monthly, weekly and daily to-dos. Once tasks are broken down into more bite sized pieces of a larger picture, prioritize each task to ensure the most important items are completed first.
- Be intentional when it comes to taking a step back and include breaks in your daily schedule. Make sure to unplug – whether it’s for 5 or 15 minutes. Not only will this improve your mental health, but it will also allow you to see the bigger picture. Give yourself room to breathe during the overwhelming moments so they do not consume your new work-life balance and routine.
These skills are serving business owners well as they shift their strategy in the wake of the pandemic. New research from The UPS Store Small Biz Buzz survey, fielded March 17 – June 2 with more than 300 entrepreneurs, revealed that 41% say they have recently changed or pivoted their business, including:
- 65% doing more business online
- 15% offering curbside delivery
- 28% shifting to e-commerce
- 34% shipping products instead of delivering in-person
Small business owners continue to be nimble as their workforce, products, practices and business models evolve to ensure the best success possible.
The UPS Store has remained an essential resource during the pandemic providing services like shipping, mail and package receiving, printing, scanning, faxing and notary. All locations are following guidance from the CDC and WHO, along with all federal, state and local health safety guidelines. To find a store near you, visit www.theupsstore.com.
Michelle Van Slyke, The UPS Store, Inc. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales