Coffee isn't the only thing that keeps business leaders awake at night.
Business owners and leaders obsess about all kinds of things, many of which are completely outside of their control. But unfortunately, the fact that they can't control these things doesn't mean that they don't worry about them.
According to researchers, more than half (57%) of all business leaders suffer from significantly elevated stress levels. The factors that cause stress in owners and executives are diverse, but many of them boil down to the burden of decision-making. When an owner or executive makes a poor decision, it jeopardizes the well-being of their entire workforce.
But the things that really keep leaders awake at night are the unknowns and risk that are just part of being a business leader. Will our new product line succeed? Can we really afford new hires? Here are some of the other uncertainties that occupy owners' and leaders' mental real estate.
- Customer loyalty. Businesses live and die by the maxim that it's cheaper to retain a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. In today's business environment, customer loyalty programs are in jeopardy as consumers use technology to perform on-demand price comparisons, product reviews and other price-focused activities that encourage them to jump ship.
- The Internet. On the whole, the Internet has been a boon for business leaders. But the constant evolution of online technology has left many businesses struggling to keep up. When experts tout the importance of the latest online business strategies, today's owners and leaders worry that their companies aren't prepared for the next wave of technology.
- Commoditization. The commoditization of goods and service is a concern for leaders. When price becomes the primary issue for consumers, differentiation falls by the wayside, devastating the company's business model and pushing smaller companies out of the market.
- Employees. Most employees don't realize the amount of stress they put on their leadership. Whether they admit it or not, many leaders take employee problems personally and if financial realities mean they can't compensate their workers adequately, they see it as a personal failure.
- Competition. Good business leaders know that it's not enough to worry about their company; they also need to worry about the competition. The need to stay one step ahead of competitors is time-consuming and mentally exhausting.
- Lack of knowledge. A lot of leaders feel inadequate because they lack the same level of education as their peers. In the back of their minds, they suspect that they are missing important pieces of the puzzle, regardless of how much experience they have as a leader.