Small business retail advice: how to see your business differently in a moment of tension or stress

It is tough work running a small retail business, working 70, 80 and more hours a week covering many tasks from business manager to cleaner to customer service to creating retail displays.

You can feel overwhelmed, snowed under and with your back against a wall … all at once, unable to make a decision, unable to move almost. It is not uncommon. Such are the challenges for small business retailers.

There is always something to do. Some days, often in fact, it can feel like no matter what you do you have more to do at the end of the day than when you started.

Here is our advice if you feel that overwhelmed that you don’t know what to do. Because doing nothing is not an option. Here is what we suggest…

Regardless of how busy you are in your retail business, we urge you to take time out every day for a brisk 20 to 30 minute walk outside, in the sun (or the rain), alone.

Leave your phone behind – the shop won’t burn down.

Walk alone.

Listen to music or enjoy the sounds of the outdoors.

This is your time. 100% focussed on you. Your recharge. Your opportunity to think of nothing … and probably find that you have thought of everything once you return.

The best time to take the walk is when you feel most overwhelmed.

Walking, as a brisk pace can break the cycle of feeling overwhelmed, the negative feeling about what is confronting you in the business.

Getting your heart rate up will be good for your physical and mental health.

A good energetic walk is an excellent opportunity to reset.

Being away from the business, other people and the phone will give your body and mind time to process – even if you are not actively thinking about the business.

If you are like me, stepping back into the business after a brisk 20 or 30 minute walk, you see things differently, decisions are easier, progress is real.

Days with a walk are far better than days without.

Footnote: this advice for business owners and managers to go for a walk when feeling overwhelmed is consistent with advice from mental health experts around the world. Better still, following the advice costs nothing.

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