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Key Reasons Why Business Owners May Experience Stress and How to Cope

3-minute read

Kristin Vegh

Kristin Vegh

14 September 2023

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Business owners have a lot on their shoulders, and carrying it around has its consequences. It’s natural to worry and fret about something you’ve worked so hard to build, but chronic stress isn’t sustainable in the long run.

But you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of common stressors for business owners, as well as tips for handling stress at work.

5 Causes of Business Owner Stress

1. Not enough time.

Stress and time management often go hand-in-hand. Running your own business isn’t always a standard 9-to-5 job, and business owners can struggle to balance their professional and personal responsibilities. Having a lot on your plate without enough downtime could lead to small business owner burnout.

2. The pressures of staff management.

When you’re running a business, it’s not enough to be highly qualified in your industry. You also have to develop the skills necessary to be a good boss. Business owners can find it stressful trying to balance doing their own work, while helping employees do theirs.

3. Workplace and industry changes.

Times change — so must your business practices. As industry requirements and technology change, it’s crucial that your business stays up-to-date. But introducing new procedures can be disruptive to workflow and turn a task that you were able to do with your eyes closed into something frustrating and confusing.

4. Administrative upkeep.

Payroll, tax returns, certifications, mandatory inspections… the list goes on. Running your own business can mean a lot of scheduling and paperwork. All that tedious backend work can often lead to an overwhelmed business owner.

5. Impostor syndrome.

Many business owners struggle with feeling illegitimate in their industry, or like they aren’t qualified to run a company. It’s easy to feel insecure when you’re constantly juggling tasks. Business ownership can have some chaotic moments, leaving leaders to feel like they’re failing in some way.

How Business Owners Can Lessen the Effects of Stress

Delegate where you can.

If you’re wondering how to manage stressful situations at work, handing some of those situations over to trusted employees could be a good place to start.

Your business doesn’t need to be a one-person show. Delegating some of the responsibilities can lighten your workload and keep you from running yourself ragged. Training your employees to “replace” you will make it easier for them to take on some bigger tasks. It may even be time to consider hiring more help.

… But skip the micromanaging.

What is stress management without confronting some bad habits? The unfortunate dark side of delegating work responsibilities is that business owners can find it difficult to let them go. After months or years of handling everything yourself, watching someone else take over can be uncomfortable.

The urge to be a backseat driver hovering over their shoulders can be strong, but it’s important to fight it. Let other people handle what you’ve given them. Their methods may look different from yours, but let them come to you if they need help.

Stick to a schedule.

How do you manage stress when you’re working 24/7? Answer: You don’t. Ditching the 9-to-5 grind in favor of scheduling freedom is a popular incentive to start your own business. But the reality is that even though you can work on your own time, you may have so much to do that it starts to eat up all of your time.

Build a sustainable schedule for yourself. Block out when you plan to work and hold yourself to those hours. Don’t let your business take up too much of your downtime. This could help re-establish some work-life balance and keep you from working yourself into the ground.

Just say no.

… Well, not all the time. But sometimes handling stress at work isn’t about time management or getting help — it’s about not taking on too much in the first place.

For new businesses, it can be tempting to jump at every opportunity. The downside is that this could end with you biting off more than you can chew. It’s important to establish boundaries for how much you can handle at once, and enforce them.

Identify the sources of your stress.

Every business is different, with its own set of unique concerns. And no two business owners have exactly the same stressors, either. That knot in your back? The tension in your jaw? Those are custom-made from your personal annoyances and bugbears.

Knowing how to handle stressful work situations starts with addressing what’s making them stressful. If you aren’t sure what the root cause of your stress is, make figuring that out a priority. Identifying the problem alone can help alleviate some anxiety. Once you know what’s wrong, you can start looking for solutions or techniques to help you cope.

Taking the Stress Out of Business Insurance

You can’t discuss the importance of stress management for business owners without considering some of the bigger risks their business faces. Whether you’re a contractor or you run a coffee shop, your work exposes you, your customers, and your employees to potential dangers. And finding insurance coverage for the type of business you own can be complicated.

Simply Business® can help with that. We believe shopping for business insurance should be, well, simple. Using our quote comparison tool, we can help match you with policy options from a variety of leading national carriers. Tell us a little about your business and we can have a quote ready in just a few minutes.

You stress about your business because you’ve worked hard to build it. Let us help take the stress of finding business insurance off your plate.

Get Insured in Under 10 Minutes

Get an affordable & customized policy in just minutes. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.

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Kristin Vegh

Written by

Kristin Vegh

After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.

Kristin writes on a number of topics such as small business trends, license reciprocity, and BOP insurance.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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