Tom Jeffries

Common Stresses That Small Business Owners Face and Ways to Control Them


Small businesses don’t always realise the main stresses of owning a business. They may plan and imagine different scenarios down to a tee but often business owners find themselves in situations they have never thought about.

Business owners do not get a job manual or even a job description, they are taking a large risk if they don’t do enough research and planning. Because of this, more and more entrepreneurs are balancing the demands of business in both practical and surprising ways. To help small business owners we have created a list of common stresses you can aim to avoid.

Lack of control

Being your own boss you control so much, but when it comes to working with external business partners, clients, investors and suppliers, it puts you in a position with a lack of control. Keep in mind that you still have a lot of influence but that isn’t the same as identifying all end results. To help manage this you have to accept that not all decisions will be made in your favour but aim to have a positive attitude on these decisions. Being more appreciative on your winning decisions and accepting what you can’t control can help lower stress levels.

Reacting too soon and too fast

Being a business owner your actions dictate most of the company results, sometimes people do things in the heat of the moment causing problems for everyone in the business. By taking time to listen, analyse the situation and consider multiple responses to it can help and support professional action. Also remember to breathe! Following these simple steps can not only help your business but also reduce your stress levels.

No time to ‘Do It All’

Accepting the fact that one person can’t do everything for one business is key to eliminate stress. Small business owners can at least try but you can only do some much in one day and if you want to include sleeping and eating it may prove difficult. Budgeting time to get on with other day to day activities and choosing not to check emails during certain times of the day can help to manage your busy workload and eliminate stress. When you have identified what is best for both you and your business ensure you stick to your schedule.

Even following these tips, I don’t know many small business owners who are completely immune from the stress of owning a business. But the way you handle the stress can be controlled to curb some of your stress.

Get a handle on information

Information overload can be extremely stressful for small business owners, but once you find a way to embrace technology from different sources it can reduce stress. Using gate-keeping tactics can help too, for example shut off email notifications, so when you’re ready to focus on it you can check your emails manually. Also unsubscribe from any useless information messages that are never read.

Stick to your plan

Your plans need to focus on where you are right now, where you want to go and what you will do to get there. Having a plan in place and sticking to it can ensure you are on the right tracks for your business.

Learn how to delegate

Relating to the stress of not doing it all, it’s ok to delegate responsibility to other people! Try to not become the business, there are benefits of building a business based on you but when you want to step back the business may not be able to run without you. By delegating different roles and responsibility can allow you to grow your business to new levels, it can also allow you to take breaks and things still progress in your absence.

Schedule regular breaks

Most small business owners may find it a challenge to create time to relax. The best solution for this is to schedule breaks, this way you’re less likely to book something else during that time and more likely to stick to it. Having five minutes to yourself could decrease your stress levels and help your business.

Stress comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur and it should be considered along the way. One thing to remember is that failure is a big part to the small business process. No-body wants to fall and fail but many small businesses will experience a time where failure seems to outshine success but it is important to keep your eye on the big picture. It may be those failures and stresses along the way that rise you to the success you’re aiming for.