If you’re a small business owner in New York City, then you know what it’s like to be a small fish in a large pond. There’s so much potential to grow your consumer base, but there’s also the stress of trying to compete in the nation’s biggest city.

Many startups don’t last a long time—but setting realistic short term goals, hard work, and properly managing your finances will help ensure your success. It’s also important that you make your mental health a priority so that you can perform at your peak and reap all the benefits of your efforts. Continue reading to get tips that will help alleviate the stress of running a small business in the Big Apple.

Set Achievable Goals

One of the most important things you need to do to help your business flourish is to set achievable goals. In business, if you’re not progressing, then you’re regressing. It’s imperative to set benchmarks that will measure your company’s growth and advancement.

Goal setting is more than creating a to-do list. It involves getting all of your team members behind your vision and executing a well-planned strategy. When everyone’s in alignment, your small enterprise will run like a well-oiled machine.

You also need to keep track of your goals to make sure that you’re constantly moving towards them. The data points you need to track are called your objectives and key results (OKRs). With the best OKRs software, it’s possible to monitor the production of your team members and the success of your marketing campaigns.

Be Open to Change and Expansion

New York City is home to over 8 million people and 200,000 businesses—that means New Yorkers have a lot of options and can be picky. Because there is such a large and diverse market for your products and services, your earning potential is limitless.

The key to making your small business a lasting success is to go above and beyond your competitors. That means you have to keep an eye on what they’re doing as well as the type of results they’re seeing. If they’re doing something you’re not and it’s working, then don’t be afraid to be a copycat. Why try to reinvent the wheel? It’s okay to be a copycat as long as you’re copying the right cat!

You also need to be creative and offer products or services that your customers could use and your competitors don’t offer. Sometimes, simply expanding your repertoire can turn the tides for your business.

You Need a Mentor, a Peer, and a Mentee

In the business world, people are your greatest asset. One of the best favors you can do yourself is to find a mentor. Attach yourself to someone with years of experience as a successful entrepreneur. The right person can help you to avoid certain pitfalls as well as spot obscure opportunities.

You should also have a peer and a mentee. Attend events for business owners and connect with other entrepreneurs owners in your area. Networking is a great way to build partnerships. Also, having a mentee keeps you fresh and ensures that you’ll be on your best so as to set a good example for a future entrepreneur.

Keep a Cool Head

Residents of New York are busy, fast-paced people who demand the best in terms of quality of service. This often leads to heated moments. It’s important for you to keep your cool during intense situations.

There will be times when you’ll have to deal with personnel problems and high-strung customers, but you can’t afford to let the pressure get the best of you. Work-related stress is one of the leading causes of anxiety disorders and cardiac issues. Furthermore, you always have to put on your best face for your patrons.

If the tension from your business becomes too much of a strain, then you should seek out an NYC therapist. Talking through your issues with a licensed psychologist can help you to overcome pinned-up anxiety and develop coping strategies for stressful situations.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

One of the greatest hindrances to success is the fear of failure—it can be paralyzing. Running a small business is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be hurdles along the way, but each obstacle is an opportunity to become a wiser, better businessperson. As they say, if you can make it in New York City, then you can make it anywhere.