Hiscox Survey Shows Small Business Owners are up for New Challenges

April 03, 2012

Despite stress, 69% of small business owners are ready to tackle the business challenges of the year of ahead.

Running a small business is stressful, I don’t think you’ll get many people who will disagree with that.  But what’s the main reason for small business owner’s stress and what can they do to reduce how this impacts on their health?  These are two things we looked at in our recent Entrepreneurs HealthCheck survey in the US and the UK.  We asked small business owners what was stressing them out, how much of a priority they place on their physical health and how they’re feeling about prospects in 2012.

Yes, you're stressed

One-quarter (26 percent) of respondents described themselves as stressed and three quarters of small business owners surveyed reported some type of physical ailments resulting from stress at work.  What were people most stressed about?  The key drivers of this stress included concerns about losing their business altogether (54 percent), losing clients (51 percent), health deterioration (41 percent) and bringing in new business (49 percent).  An what were their stress-related ailments?  Most cited were lack of energy (33 percent), headaches (32 percent), back pain (30 percent) and anxious thoughts (29 percent).

But, things are looking up for small businesses

Stress isn’t always a bad thing.  Over a quarter (29 percent) of businesses were stressed because of a surge in new clients.  Despite the stress more than two-thirds (69 percent) feel mentally prepared to tackle the business challenges of the year ahead, 15 percent believe the economy is already in recovery mode, and 57 percent expect their business to grow in the coming year.

What to do about the stress?

Take the advice of Dr. David Bull, a medical doctor and an entrepreneur who founded strategic brand communication company IncrediBull in 2000.  “It's important to make sure that you take steps to combat stress which include eating healthy, making time for exercise, ensuring you get enough sleep, having time out, taking part in hobbies or outside activities and ensuring that you schedule vacations.”

At least some of you are doing this already - 59 percent of respondents said they gave a priority to their physical health.

Read the Hiscox small business survey and let us know your thoughts.