Six Tips to Dealing with COVID Stress

As a small business owner, it probably feels a little overwhelming dealing with the stress coming at you as a result of the pandemic. Here are six tips you can follow to take care of yourself and stay healthy during these uncertain times.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for small business owners, both in their professional and personal lives. It has affected mental health, emotional health, physical health and more. Starting and/or running a business is stressful during the best of times, so a global pandemic which has possibly shut down your business for weeks or months, and is forcing you to make major changes to the way you operate, brings with it a whole new level of stress. As a small business owner, you worry about your ability to stay in business, as well as your responsibilities to your employees and customers. These are just a few examples of the new normal you are currently dealing with.

In order for you to handle the stress and be in a good, healthy position to help everyone else, you first must take care of yourself. Here are six tips that I use to help stay healthy and safe during this pandemic:

Stress-less Tip No. 1: Eat Healthy and Take Care of You
Eating right is important to help you feel energetic, productive and positive. Get some exercise. Avoid sugar, fast food and junk food as much as possible. This will help you to stay focused, help you to deal with stress, help you to sleep better and help you to make better business decisions.

Stress-less Tip No. 2: Eliminate Alcohol
Avoiding alcohol has been proven to help eliminate and manage stress. You will feel better and perform better.

Stress-less Tip No. 3: Have a Support System
Small business owners need to have a strong support system outside of work. While you may not be able to connect with others in person, use video chats, Zoom type meetings, calls and other methods of communication to stay in touch. Develop a sounding board or network of other professionals. 

Stress-less Tip No. 4: Carve Out Time for Yourself
As a small business owner, you need “me” time. Find something you like to do that can help you unwind. Play a socially distancing sport, take a walk or jog, watch a movie, cook, garden, read a book. It doesn’t matter what you do, just find something outside of the work environment that you enjoy. This should not be viewed as a luxury, but as an essential part of keeping you healthy and productive.

Stress-less Tip No. 5: Learn to Prioritize
Setting goals and prioritizing them is important. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish and then review it with a critical eye. Take any deadlines into account and develop a plan based on priority needs. If you have large projects, try to break them down into more manageable tasks. 

Stress-less Tip No. 6: Get Professional Help if You Need it
If you are struggling or having serious issues, consider seeking help from a licensed medical professional. You need to confide in someone. Seeing a therapist can make a huge difference in your ability to handle the stress and navigate thru this pandemic. While it may be a little more difficult with social distancing, it is not impossible and can be very helpful. 
While not every one of these strategies will be helpful for everyone, doing any of these things—even for a relatively short period of time—is better than doing nothing at all. 

President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Speaker, Trainer, Corporate Security ExpertTimothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at info@sacsconsulting.com.

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  • Next up: Slaying the Impromptu Dragon

    Slaying the Impromptu Dragon

    Does just the thought of impromptu public speaking make you sweat? Here are four steps to help you tackle presentations so that you’re never caught off guard again.

     

    Has this ever happened to you? Emma arrived at work early, got a cup of coffee and settled into tackling her highest priority task of the day. When, out of nowhere, her boss Bob approached her cubicle and asked the question that strikes fear in the hearts most employees, “Hi Emma...you busy?”

    Without waiting for an answer, he indicated that some of the executives from Glitztronics were in for a project status review meeting. Andy, the team lead, had just called in sick, so Bob asked her to fill in and do a five-minute quickie overview for them—right now. “After all,” he said, “you’re the senior member of the project team anyway.”

    Instant stress, panic and fear would overtake most people in a similar situation. They couldn’t say no, but would be terrified that they’d blow it and look foolish in front of their clients and their boss. But not Dragon Slayer Emma—she’s a real pro at workplace presentations.

    RELATED: Expert answers for your questions on presentations.

    Impromptu presentations can be the workplace communicator’s worst nightmare, if you let them. But, having a “what if” plan for just such emergencies can save the day. 

    Here’s what Emma did to slay the impromptu dragon—and how you can, too:

    Slay the dragon step no. 1: React calmly. Emma first took a deep breath, smiled at Bob and told him she’d be happy to help out—exhibiting a tone of confidence and even appreciation.

    Slay the dragon step no. 2: Find out the details. Emma then asked Bob what three or four brief talking points he wanted her to discuss and who specifically would be in the room.

    Slay the dragon step no. 3: Gather your thoughts and get to it. Finally, Emma jotted down some quick notes and followed Bob down the hall.

    Slay the dragon step no. 4: Continue acting confident. Emma projected not only confidence throughout her presentation, but also enthusiasm over the project and the client. 

    After Bob introduced Emma and indicated she was filling in for the absent Andy, it would be an accurate description to say she had them at “hello.” She welcomed the clients, said she was delighted to give them a brief project status and discuss its background, current activity and next series of milestones. She asked them if that agenda worked for their needs and if anyone had any specific questions they wanted to make sure got addressed. Since she hadn’t even seen Andy’s slides, she didn’t use any; she simply did a brief review of the project and asked if they had any other questions. In her quick summary, Emma thanked them again for the opportunity to work with Glitztronics and said she looked forward to their next meeting.

    So, you can all learn from a pro like Emma and Slay your Impromptu Dragon. Have a basic structure in mind that can quickly adapt to most any topic and quickly decide on content points and support facts as you walk down the hall. Project confidence, enthusiasm and enjoyment, especially if you’re faking it, and never let them see you sweat.

    RELATED: Read more by Phil Stella.

    Hey, it worked very well for Emma. She got applause from the clients and glowing comments from Bob, who didn’t forget her stepping up at performance review time.

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com,440-449-0356, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.  

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  • Next up: State Budget Bill Passes; Business Income Deduction Largely Preserved

    State Budget Bill Passes; Business Income Deduction Largely Preserved

    Ohio lawmakers passed the state’s biennial budget Wednesday with bipartisan support. Notably, Ohio’s tax deduction for business income will largely be preserved. The budget deal keeps the first $250,000 of income for limited liability corporations and other business entities tax-free, as well as keeping an existing 3% flat rate on income above that.

    Language will be included that make lobbyists and lawyers ineligible for the deduction. This change is supposedly meant to address one of the primary complaints with the tax deduction—that individuals can form businesses without hiring any employees. 

    The deal also eliminates taxes for people in Ohio’s lowest two tax brackets, while cutting other tax rates by 4%.

    GCP supported:

    • Preserving Ohio’s current small business tax deduction, which is utilized by our members for reinvestment back into their companies, workforces, and communities. 
    • Maintaining the 3% flat tax rate that pass-through businesses pay on earnings over $250,000.

    GCP will continue to track ongoing budget developments that impact our members. 

    The Governor received the budget bill late last night and is expected to sign it, with possible line-item vetoes, today.


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  • Next up: State Budget Correction Bill Would Tweak Ohio Business Income Tax Deduction

    State Budget Correction Bill Would Tweak Ohio Business Income Tax Deduction

     

    Among the key issues GCP was engaged in throughout the Ohio budget bill process and over the course of the last several years was our members’ intent to preserve Ohio’s small business tax deduction, which is utilized by our members for reinvestment back into their companies, workforces, and communities.  Ensuring the proper treatment for a variety of business types, expenses, and investments made by business owners—to support the growth of their businesses—is a crucial focus in deliberations on tax policy.

    On Thursday, the Ohio House passed SB 26 unanimously which, in part, reverses provisions that policymakers made in the operating budget bill that required lawyers and lobbyists to pay taxes on all levels of business income, even though all other businesses are exempt on the first $250,000 of income.  SB 26 aims to restore the deduction for those industries reportedly because Ohio tax forms do not require one’s occupation to be listed in the same way that federal tax documents do.  Therefore, SB 26 would also require those to list their occupations going forward on state tax forms.

    Under the plan, the 100% business tax deduction on the first $250,000 in business income remains in place.  And, the bill will now head back to the Ohio Senate for review.

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  • Next up: Substitute HB 166: State Budget Process Continues

    Substitute HB 166: State Budget Process Continues


    A temporary Ohio budget extension was recently approved to keep the government open for business.  Ohioans may expect the Ohio General Assembly to vote on a final state budget bill between now and July 17; the lengthy legislation will then be sent to the Governor for his review and approval. 

    Among the many issues GCP is engaged in, the Senate’s budget bill would require state agencies to review and repeal regulatory restrictions over the course of the next four years, an element of regulatory reform measure Senate Bill 1, legislation which GCP supported.

    In addition, the Senate budget maintains language for an Opportunity Zone tax credit, including allowing the transfer of credits and increasing the share of invested assets in zone property from 90% to 100%. An amendment supported by GCP—to create an Opportunity Zone Study Committee to study best implementation practices from other states and impact investment strategies that support more highly distressed rural and urban communities—was not included in the final bill.

    After the Governor prescribed no significant tax changes earlier this year, the Ohio Senate recommended an 8 percent income tax decrease and the Ohio House approved a 6.6 percent income tax cut.  That aside, GCP has continually requested state leaders consider the following when it comes to predictable tax policy entrepreneurs can plan for:

    • Preserve Ohio’s current small business tax deduction, which is utilized by our members for reinvestment back into their companies, workforces, and communities. 
    • Maintain the 3% flat tax rate that pass-through businesses pay on earnings over $250,000.

    To a view a comparison of budget priorities up until this point between the Governor, Ohio Senate, and Ohio House click here.

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  • Next up: The Effective Capability Statement

    The Effective Capability Statement

    An effective capability statement is a marketing tool that will showcase the services/products that your company offers, its qualifications and accomplishments.

    An effective capability statement is a marketing tool that will showcase the services/products that your company offers, its qualifications and accomplishments. In a recent webinar, Rich Delisio of OU PTAC reviewed the importance of a well written capability statement, how to stand out against competitors, and the components to include as you prepare for the Cleveland B2B Matchmaker.

    Watch the full webinar below:

     

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