The No. 1 Reason For Business Owner Burnout
The No. 1 reason for business owner burnout is simple and begins on Day 1. In fact, the “burnout syndrome” begins the moment an owner receives their first question from an employee; such as, “Hey Bob (Business Owner), can I have off next week, my brother-in-law called today, he’s coming to town and wants me to take him fishing?”
So begins the continual relentless questions and interruptions from those employees seeking information to do their job. Not to mention, customer and vendor inquiries.
The owner is the go-to person who has all the answers. Right?
In most cases, small business ownership starts with a “vision of grandeur.” They have dreams of extended vacations and time with the family whenever it pleases. Importantly, they desire financial independence.
Who wouldn’t get excited about that?
However, as pressure from interruptions, errors, miscommunications, employee squabbles, and cash flow issues mount, the passion and the once vision of grandeur fades.
The Reason for Business Owner Burnout — Loss of Control
As Burnout takes its toll, a feeling of hopelessness and lack-of-control ensues. As a result, the owner retreats to their office or any safe zone, avoiding that constant stream of questions and general chaos.
The truth is, most small business owners don't know what their employees are doing at any given moment! Therefore, adding to the feeling of little to no control over their business.
Sadly, total burnout usually occurs within three to five years of taking ownership or starting a new business. How do I know? It happened to me.
Thankfully, before throwing in the towel, I received the answer for how to gain back my grandeur vision and remove the “burnout syndrome” that was engulfing me.
How to Gain Back Control is Simple
What are the things in business needing to be under control? In short, all operations that run the business — front to back.
Key Business Operations Requiring Control Systems:
The “Work” — Job /Service/Project Tracking
The “work” is what separates one type of business from another. It’s all-important to track “work” from start to finish; from onboarding until you get paid; and having the ability to see all work in progress, at-a-glance.
Quality Assurance for the “Work”
To ensure all “work” is error-free and performed consistently, a Quality Control System is key. Therefore, creating step-by-step process procedures linking back to the “Work” in progress is crucial. To be clear, a prompt-by-prompt checklist for all key processes that leaves nothing to chance.
The Employees — Detail Job Descriptions/Daily Routine Prompts
This is an area where most businesses fail! Yes, they may have a Job Description given to new employees. However, it’s usually outdated and has a vague description of the job; a static document without any modifications for the new hire’s position.
A business owner should know, prompt-by-prompt, what every employee is doing from the time they arrive, until leaving at the end of the day.
In short, this prompt-by-prompt thinking turns a static Job Description into a track-able Employee Daily Routine Checklist. Moreover, submitted to management for review before leaving at the end of the day. Note: A Daily Routine Checklist can be paper or digital.
Business Assets/ Inventory—Furniture, Equipment & Supplies
A key area needing control is a company’s assets. Therefore, Inventory Tracking is critical to maintaining control of a growing business. However, an inventory system does not need to be complicated, to give an owner necessary control.
Asset/Inventory Elements needing tracked:
- Name and Description
- Vendor where purchased. Note: On Equipment and Building—Maintenance Vendor and Parts Vendors. In addition, note if someone in-house does the maintenance on certain assets.
- Serial Number (if applicable)
- Product Number/Item Number (if applicable)
- Price (Quantity of Measure i.e. Unit, Lot, Sq. Feet, etc.)
- Item Code (if applicable)
- Item Notes (if applicable)
Truth is, without operations systemized, a business owner will remain hopelessly frustrated, and Burnout will occur!
All due to lack of controls in their business.
Did I mention? Great systems put you in control!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.