avoiding professional burnout

Exciting ways to avoid professional burnout

While we’ve all heard about the importance of self-care, sometimes taking a different approach to unwinding and relaxing is just what’s needed to avoid professional burnout.

avoiding professional burnout

You may be living your dream — running a company you’re passionate about and leading a great team. But when your phone is buzzing at 2 am, clients have questions only you can answer, and you’re carrying the weight of your company’s success on your shoulders, it’s hard to avoid letting the stress take over.

The dangers of getting too close to the dreaded burnout zone are real for business owners — especially as inflationary concerns, supply chain, and staffing issues continue to grow. 

As a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses revealed, two-thirds of small business owners reported that they were close to burning out. And this is a phenomenon being experienced across the border as well.


Gallup’s most recent State of the Global Workplace report found that 50% of employees felt stressed daily – making North American workers among the most stressed in the world.


Although professional burnout is a work phenomenon, it creates negative physical, emotional and behavioural effects (such as headaches, poor sleep, self-doubt, helplessness, isolation and frustrations) that can seep into all aspects of life. 

Many of us have heard about the importance of taking daily walks, disconnecting from our devices or getting a good night’s sleep to avoid reaching the burnout zone. But if these standard de-stressing techniques aren’t cutting it anymore, it may be time to add a few more tricks to your repertoire. 

Here are some unexpected ways to proactively avoid professional burnout before it starts:

Get (your office) back to nature

Get your office back to nature

It’s always a nice idea to take a walk when stressed. But if work is calling non-stop, it may be challenging to take an actual break, find a trail and breathe some fresh air. If this is the case for you, finding solace in your own space can be a great alternative. 

Consider bringing the outside in by adding a few plants into your office — the time you spend tending to them or simply admiring them can have a temporary calming effect.

On a larger scale, the trend of bringing nature into the workplace is known as ‘biophilic design‘. It involves incorporating indoor plants, natural light and natural materials (such as wood or water features) into your office.

For example, industrial analytics firm Uptake in Chicago has worked in natural carpet and other materials throughout its office, including wood beams, green walls, plants and a yoga room with foliage.

The benefits of this approach can be significant. As one Harvard study showed, individuals working in spaces with biophilic features were more creative and had «consistently lower physiological stress indicators.»

Look to alternative solutions

Look to alternative solutions

Along with greening your office, other natural remedies may go a long way to providing stress relief. Edward F. Group III, CEO of Global Healing Center, told Inc.com magazine that having live plants in the office environment, combined with other strategies like deep breathing exercises, favourable lighting and essential oils, helps to reduce stress during the workday. 

Certain essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, have been heralded for their stress and anxiety-fighting benefits. If you want to benefit from their healing properties, consider diffusing these oils at your desk or switching your afternoon coffee to a calming herbal tea.

It’s also beneficial to pay attention to your breath when you’re feeling burnt out — odds are, it will be shallow, making you feel more anxious. 

Focusing on closing your eyes and taking slow, deep breaths through your nose, out through your mouth, and letting your lower abdomen rise and fall for a few minutes will help slow your pulse down. Do this a couple of times daily to give your body a reliable go-to stress-buster when needed.

And don’t ignore the advantages of the right lighting. As one CEO told Entrepreneur, bringing a minimalist LED floor lamp into his office helped improve his mental health and eased feelings of stress and fatigue — especially when he found himself burning the midnight oil.

Push the boundaries of your comfort zone

Push the boundaries of your comfort zone

As a business owner, you might be tempted to fill your free time with new client meetings, professional development opportunities, or other activities focused on driving your company towards important goals. 

While these moves are great for your business, they keep your mind in work mode and don’t do much to help you avoid stress. Instead, it’s time to think outside the box and dedicate part of your week to something completely different. 

A study from the U.K.’s University of Sheffield found that leisure activities far removed from someone’s day-to-day work can give people time to develop themselves. It also boosts confidence and recharges one’s batteries — as long as that hobby uses skills different from their job.

Have you always wanted to learn how to DJ in front of a crowd? Maybe you’ve been intrigued by surfing for a while? Perhaps Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is more your speed? 

If you typically spend a lot of time writing, strategizing, speaking at conferences or even playing golf for business development purposes, it’s time to activate a different part of your brain and try something new!

Prioritize your mental health

At the end of the day, prevention is the best prescription to avoid professional burnout. So make it a priority to dedicate a few hours a week to a new pursuit, re-imagine your workspace or begin incorporating natural remedies into your self-care routine. 

After all, you need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your business.

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supplier contracts

Navigating unexpected supplier price increases

How can businesses remain competitive in today’s market when faced with navigating unexpected supplier price increases?

supplier contracts

Small and medium-sized businesses have gone through tough times over the last few years. With unfavourable market conditions pushing businesses to make hard decisions, many companies are facing new and increasing challenges.

Decades-high inflation has made pricing and contracts more difficult to navigate, and, along with labour shortages and continuing supply-chain delays, some businesses have been struggling to keep moving forward. 

This is particularly the case for B2B businesses that operate on small margins and offer fixed-price contracts, such as manufacturing or trucking and transportation companies. 


Companies in manufacturing, transportation and energy have seen instances where suppliers have increased costs by as much as 20%, even though they had a contract in place at a lower price. 


So how can business owners continue to deliver at the fixed-price contract rate? Keep reading as we examine this growing problem and how small and medium-sized business owners can overcome it. 

Contract reneging is a wide-reaching issue

In recent months, we’ve heard of numerous instances where North American-based companies have had suppliers increase costs at short notice. This is causing strains to their cash flow and putting their client relationships at risk. 

Manufacturing, transportation and energy have seen an increase in suppliers reneging on contract pricing. Often in these sectors, purchase agreements are locked in for years or are structured in such a way that they can’t simply pass along the increased costs to their customers. 

Supplier increases

If a business depends on one or two large accounts (such as a company that is selling products to a grocery chain or a transport company who provides exclusive shipping rights to a single customer) the last thing they want to do is damage or lose a contract. 

So what is the driving force behind this phenomenon and what can business owners do to overcome the cash flow challenges it presents?

Dramatically shifting market conditions to blame

The fall-out from COVID-19 lockdowns and ongoing supply issues are partly to blame for the increase in supply prices. Continuing lockdowns in China (which is the world’s leading manufacturer, with almost 30% of the world’s output) have had serious impacts on the supply of goods and materials. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has played a large part in the increase in global prices for oil, which in turn has raised the costs of transportation and the overall cost of a wide variety of supplies. The war has also caused an increase in energy and food costs, bringing a knock-on effect to the price of many other materials. 

The cost of moving goods around the world has also increased considerably. In some places the price of transporting a container almost quadrupled within a year. Labour shortages and wage increases have also had an impact on the cost of most goods and materials. 

These pressures have brought about unavoidable chain reactions: businesses’ costs have spiralled and so the goods they provide have also had to jump in price. 

For the foreseeable future, these pressures are likely to remain for many businesses. Between 75% and 84% of businesses expect to continue seeing increased supply costs, supply shortages and delivery delays.


Manufacturers are facing almost $1 billion in increased costs, with 80% admitting that they have had to considerably raise their prices and delay deliveries of orders.


It looks likely, therefore, that suppliers reneging on contracts is likely to be a reality for many businesses, for some time to come.

How businesses are reacting to increased costs

To stay afloat, many small and medium-sized businesses know that they have to continue delivering on their contracts, regardless of higher costs they themselves may face. Increasingly, therefore, companies are reconsidering the viability of offering fixed-price contracts. 

No business with small profit margins can continue to swallow price increases that can’t be passed on to the customer. More and more companies are providing estimates but no fixed price, so they have leeway to account for potential fluctuations in the cost of materials. 

This is fine for the future, but how can companies manage increased costs which they can’t pass on to their customers, right now?

Financial ways to bridge the gap

Many companies will need extra financing to help bridge the gap between what they’re paying for materials and what they can charge their clients. They can, of course, apply for a loan or line of credit with their bank. However, the big banks are typically more risk-averse than other lenders, and less likely to approve loans to small businesses that are experiencing cash flow issues.  

This is where alternative lenders could come into play. One option is asset-based lending, which provides businesses with a line of credit based on the company’s assets, and repayments which are made on a monthly basis.

bridging the cash flow gap

There is also an option for businesses that need improved cash flow without taking on extra debt. Invoice factoring involves selling invoices for cash, meaning companies can get paid up-front, without having to wait 30, 60 or even 90 days. This can help businesses to deliver on their contract obligations without having to pay debt interest.  

When traditional funding options aren’t available, many companies have benefited from alternative financing options to help them overcome the cash flow challenges posed by the current market conditions. The key is to find a partner who understands the company’s specific needs and is able to provide a funding solution that is in the best interest of the business’s long-term growth.

As one of North America’s leading alternative business funding providers, Liquid Capital delivers agile working capital to small and medium-sized businesses to help accelerate growth. To learn more about our alternative lending options, contact your Liquid Capital Principal today.

Recent Fundings - September 2022

Financiamientos recientes – Septiembre 2022

September 2022 Recent Fundings Spanish

alternative business funding strategies

Cash Flow Survivor: Alternative business funding strategies to outwit, outplay & outlast your competitors

3 alternative business funding strategies to help you avoid cash flow exile.

alternative business funding strategies

With 42 seasons under its belt, Survivor has lasted the test of time and remains one of the longest-running reality TV game shows. To win the game, you must not only be strategic and form alliances, but you also need to have sheer determination to overcome the challenges contestants are faced with. 

And when it comes to battling it out in business, finding the craftiest ways of improving your bottom line can often feel like you’re competing for an immunity idol to send  the competition packing. 

Often the biggest obstacle standing between a business owner and success is working capital, and having sufficient cash flow to support your goals. Luckily alternative funding solutions can be the immunity idol that growing companies have been searching for.

Here are three ways to outwit, outplay, and outlast your competitors to the finish line of the fiscal year.

1. Outwit your bank loan challenges

alternative business funding strategies - outwit bank loan


When you need funds, one of the first places you likely turn to is your bank. But banks can have strict criteria and getting that loan can become an instant roadblock. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that businesses can struggle when trying to access credit and a lack of cash could put you on the chopping block.

To outsmart the traditional loan criteria, form an alliance with an alternative funding partner who can offer you solutions such as invoice factoring — allowing you to sell unpaid invoices to access cash faster. You get paid upfront and can continue operating as usual, even if your credit rating isn’t the strongest. The important part is to form that alliance with an alternative funding partner that has a proven track record and is willing to work with you to advance your business goals.

cash cycle guide

2. Outplay the risk

outplay the risk

Being marooned with no lifeline is a horrible feeling, so it’s important to have a support team to help avoid any risk in the business that can leave you stranded. Whether it be the risk of not getting paid on time (or at all), being subject to fraud, cybersecurity risks, or not getting cash in time to pay your suppliers or staff, you’ll want to mitigate the issues.

To start, ensure that your alternative funding partner has the experience to back up their claims. They should have their own team dedicated to assessing risky funding opportunities, and they should understand your specific cash flow challenges so  they can help keep your torch lit. And since 76% of businesses are concerned about cybersecurity risks, it’s important to work with partners who are equally aware of online risks and take data privacy and security seriously.


Related Read: 5 ways factoring can clear your cash flow hurdles


3. Outlast without giving up equity

Outlast without giving up equity

When you work so hard at growing your business, would you give up equity in the company to gain financing? Many business owners do this, turning to venture capital firms, angel investors, crowdfunding, or even friends and family to increase their working capital. But according to the University of Cambridge, 67% of companies would still rather follow a debt financing model (such as PO financing) than give up a portion of their business

Why is this the case? It may come down to predictability. Looking at your balance sheet is often easier to understand, and knowing exactly how much you are borrowing (and need to pay back) can allow the average business owner to formulate a plan that fits into their schedule. The equity model, on the other hand, can raise more questions and leave you wondering just how much of your business you’ll leave on the table.

Related Read: Is my money running out? Create a cash flow budget to find out

Make a comeback

Even if you stumble upon cash flow challenges, you can still make a comeback. Obtain your secret advantage by conducting a cash flow audit and updating your cash flow budget to accurately forecast your incoming and outgoing cash flow. Assess all the financing options available to determine which will be best at maintaining consistent cash flow to stay ahead of expenses. And of course, don’t be afraid to explore options beyond what a bank may have to offer.

To become the ultimate business survivor by making the most of alternative business funding, download The Invoice Factoring Guidebook now.

The invoice factoring guidebook download