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How to Avoid Being an Overwhelmed Business Owner

leadership multi-unit franchising planning Dec 27, 2022
Franchise Owner Overwhelm

It is said that when you are at the top, the buck stops with you as a business owner or a franchisee. While it is true that you are responsible for what happens in your company, this doesn't mean that you must do it all. It doesn't mean that at all.

  • Being accountable for everything, and actually doing everything, will lead to more stress, problems, and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. That does not do you any good as a leader of your organization. 

Believe me, I have been in situations like these constantly, and I have to redirect myself to reduce that level of overwhelm and still get things done. That’s what I'm going to share with you next, some tips for business owners and leaders to eliminate the overwhelm.


Why do business owners feel overwhelmed?

Independent business owners, entrepreneurs, and franchisees tend to be overwhelmed because they want things done in a certain way and believe that nobody else can properly execute the business but them, at least not the way they want it. As consequence, they take responsibility for more tasks than they should. 

I know it because I am guilty of that. But we have to understand the impact that this does on ourselves, our lives, and the people that love us. Our quality of life will be very different if we learn to delegate and accept that, while things may not get done exactly how we want it, maybe other people’s way is still good or maybe even great. 

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Ask yourself the following questions to avoid being overwhelmed and start solving this problem.


Question 1: Does it REALLY has to get done?

Does that task that you wrote on your “To-do list” really needs to get done right now or today? Could it be done next week or next month and still be okay? A lot of the stress we put on ourselves has to do with feeling that this long checklist has to be completed right away. 

What would happen if it doesn't get done? You need to look at all the things on your list and think of the consequences of not finishing some activities. For example, if you don't conclude a report you said you were going to do or cancel a certain meeting, would that have an impact on your operation?

  • Instead of feeling frustrated because you can’t complete your list, how about deciding what is not going to get done? 

That way, the urgent and important things that truly need to get done will get done and you can postpone the other tasks for a future time. Then, your level of overwhelm and stress will go down.

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Question 2: Do YOU really have to do it?

Analyze if a task has to be solved by you as an owner of a franchise or an organization or could somebody else do it. If so, who can execute that assignment?

There are people to whom you can delegate some activities, whether it’s from your internal team of leaders or your external supporters, like accountants or lawyers, that can do things on your behalf for your organization.

Let's say that you're opening a new unit. Just as you hire an external to put the walls up, do the foundation or install the equipment, other people can take care of some activities for a price. You have to think if this is worth it. 

Is spending $300 a month worth not doing your accounting? How would you spend that money in exchange for your time? Because sometimes that's what it comes to: spending money to get your time back.

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It doesn't always have to be an external team member. There are people within your organization that are willing, able, and wanting to help you so they can learn what you're doing. 

Delegating is very important but also accepting that if you trusted a task to someone, it may not be perfect or exactly the way you would do it, maybe just a little different. Being open to that possibility will help you stop feeling overwhelmed.

Question 3: If YOU have to do it, WHEN are you going to do it?

Having a “To-do list” usually means having a “Not done list”. We only use it as a reference once in a while but we're not completely committed to getting it done partly because it is longer than you can imagine and is not possible to get everything done. 

  • The commitment comes until we actually put the activity on our calendar! When you assign a time and a day to your schedule, you clear your mind as to what it's going to take to make it happen. 

You also must assign the amount of time you believe the task will require to be completed. This will help you get focused to get it done in that time. Otherwise, you’ll end up building up a list of things that give you stress, anxiety, additional problems, and a huge sense of overwhelm.

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Of course, even if an activity is on your calendar, something may postpone your deadline. That’s why, as a business or a franchise owner you also need to be master at differentiating between the urgent and the important.

If this happens, just move the assignment on your calendar so you know when you are going to get back to it and get it done. 


This is how you can reduce, or even better, eliminate franchise owner overwhelm. You have to be true to yourself. You have to be honest with your time. When you do that, you’ll be able to delegate things that you don't really have to do so you can focus on important matters that deserve your time. 

I hope that these tips help you become more productive and feel successful and accomplished in your business. If you need extra guidance and coaching on how to make that happen, I would like to invite you to our upcoming Multi-Unit Masterclass.

During this session, we go through the four systems that a multi-unit franchisee must have to delegate their policies, processes, and procedures to their team and train them on how to execute them with great success.

Join us in our next free masterclass! Register at

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  • Have you clearly identified what activities you can delegate?
  • Do you have an internal or external team you can trust with those tasks?
  • How much of a perfectionist are you? Can you deal with people doing things differently than you?
  • What is the cost of not delegating some aspects of your business?