The emotional toll of debt collection and receivables management

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    Debt collections

    The emotional toll of debt collection and receivables management

    Debt collection and proactive credit control is as important to most businesses as making sales. However, being an effective credit controller comes with its own challenges that are often overlooked.

    Debt collection can be a very stressful and emotionally draining job, especially if you are dealing with difficult customers.

    Dealing with the constant pressure and emotionally draining tasks can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

    It is important to be aware of the mental health risks associated with debt collection and credit control and to take steps to protect your mental health. Whilst many business owners choose to do their own credit control and receivables management on top of running their business to save on costs, this ends up costing them in terms of time and anxiety.  

    In this article, we will explore the mental health risks associated with debt collection and credit control, and offer some tips on how to protect your mental health.

    Why are these issues more prevalent now?

    There are a number of reasons why mental health issues among business leaders are more prevalent now than ever before.

    First, the economic conditions in recent years have been tough for many businesses. This has led to increased pressure on business leaders to maintain profitability and keep their businesses afloat.

    Second, the rise of social media and the 24-hour news cycle has made it difficult for business leaders to disconnect from work and take a break. With constant updates on the state of the economy and news of businesses failing, it's no wonder that business leaders are struggling to keep their mental health in check.

    Third, the increasing demands of work-life balance can be overwhelming for business leaders. With longer hours and more responsibility, it's difficult to find time for family, friends, and hobbies outside of work.

    Finally, the pressure to maintain a good credit score and avoid debt can be stressful for business leaders. With the constant threat of collections and credit control, it's easy to see how business leaders can become overwhelmed by financial stress.

    How can business leaders manage their mental health?

    There are a few key things that business leaders can do to manage their mental health, including:

    Talk to someone about your feelings

    If you're a business leader struggling to keep up with the demands of your job, it's important to seek help. There are many resources available to help you manage your mental health, including counselling and support groups.

    You can also talk to your doctor about ways to manage stress and improve your mental health. Remember, you're not alone in this struggle. Seek help from others who understand what you're going through and can offer support.

    There is a certain stigma around mental health, especially in the business world. However, it's important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health.

    If you think of it in purely medical terms, if you cut yourself, you'd be unlikely not to care for that cut for fear of other people's opinions. Apply that same logic to your mental health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so don't be afraid to seek help if you're struggling.

    In terms of finding someone to talk to, there are various resources available. Your local GP should be able to offer support and signpost you to other services.

    There are also charities such as Mind, Mental Health UK, and the Samaritans that can provide help and support.

    It's also important to remember that you're not alone in struggling with mental health. One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, so you're certainly not the only one.

    There is a certain stigma around mental health, especially in the business world. However, it's important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health.

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    Try to stay active

    There is a well documented link between mental health and physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting properties.

    So, even if you don't feel like it, try to make time for some form of exercise every day. This could be a walk in the park, a run, or a gym session. Something is better than nothing!

    Making time for exercise will not only improve your mental health, but it can also help you to add some routine back to your life. Having to be somewhere at a certain time stops you from focussing all your energy on your work-based credit control problems.

    Adding in any form of physical exercise, from weightlifting to sports, can give you a sense of progress and achievement not connected to your work life. This can be a great way to improve your mental state and outlook on life.

    Eat well and drink sensibly

    If you're burning the candle at both ends, trying to earn money and keep on top of your debts, it's important to make sure you're taking care of your physical health too.

    Eating a nutritious diet and drinking sensibly will help improve your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing.

    It can be easy to forget to eat properly when you're stressed out about your business, but skipping meals or eating junk food will only make you feel worse in the long run.

    And while a glass of wine or beer at the end of a long day is perfectly reasonable, drinking to excess can quickly lead to problems of its own.

    Work on your work-life balance

    An effective work-life balance is something most business owners are terrible at. We tend to work long hours, neglect our personal relationships and hobbies, and generally put our businesses ahead of our own wellbeing.

    But a healthy work-life balance is crucial for maintaining your mental health. Make sure you take some time out for yourself every day, even if it's just half an hour to read or go for a walk. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.

    And if you're finding it hard to switch off from work, try setting some clear boundaries. Turn off your phone and email notifications after hours, and let your clients know that you won't be available 24/7.

    Making time to spend with friends and family, or doing something you enjoy outside of work, will help you relax and recharge. In the long run, it's also going to make you better at your job.

    With the exception of very few businesses, there are going to be times in the day when it just isn't possible for you to do anything to impact your business. Continuing to work during those times just increases your stress levels without any real benefit.

    Take some time for yourself, and you'll be able to come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Mental health is important, and so is taking care of yourself.

    Take some time for yourself, and you'll be able to come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Mental health is important, and so is taking care of yourself.

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    Do something you know you are good at

    People hate feeling powerless, particular business owners. But the reality is that most changes in economic conditions are outside of your control.

    And one of the best ways to take care of yourself is to focus on doing something you're good at. When business is slow and you're feeling down, it's easy to get caught up in thoughts of all the things you're not good at.

    But instead, focus on what you are good at. Maybe there's a new project you've been wanting to start but haven't had the time. Or maybe there's a task that you know nobody else can do as well as you.

    Doing something you're good at will not only make you feel better, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and help to remind you why you're in business in the first place.

    These tasks also don't have to be work-related. Maybe there's a hobby you've been wanting to pick up or a new recipe you've been wanting to try.

    Whatever it is, make sure it's something that will make you feel good and help remind you of your talents and strengths.

    As a species, we're geared towards the feeling of achievement. So, if you can find ways to help yourself feel that sense of accomplishment on a regular basis, it will go a long way in keeping you motivated.

    Of course, there will be days where no matter what you do, you just don't feel motivated. And that's okay. We all have those days. Just try to remember that they're only temporary and that eventually, you'll feel back to your old self again.

    Use automation to reduce your work burden

    One of the issues with constantly being proactive with your credit control is that it can be quite time-consuming. Fortunately, there are ways to automate certain tasks so that you can free up some time for other things.

    Using an automated credit control platform like Chaser, you can automatically send out reminders and follow-ups to your customers, so you don't have to do it manually. This can save you a lot of time, which you can then use for other tasks related to running your business.

    Or you could use that time to relax and concentrate on self-care, which is important for business owners too!

    So, if you're looking for ways to reduce your work burden, consider automating some of your credit control processes. It could make a big difference to your workload.

    Pay attention to yourself

    Ignoring your mental health can have a serious impact on your business. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed by work, take some time for yourself and try to find ways to reduce your workload. Automating your credit control could be a good place to start.

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