Why Are Small Business Owners so Stressed?

December 13, 2011

Hiscox eDNA survey reports 50% of small business owners are stressed due to the economic downturn.

Small business owners are stressed these days.  This isn’t just an anecdotal observation, as the 2011 Hiscox eDNA small business survey offers some real proof of what we already expected -- exactly half (50%) of US small business owners reported increased stress due to the economic downturn. This is effecting them in very specific ways:

  • 31% regularly don’t sleep due to worry
  • 20% spend less time with family and close friends
  • 18% say it has taken a toll on their marriages and relationships

While business owners across the US reported increased stress, there were some variations in different regions. This can be summed up pretty easily – The West is Best.  Only 41% of responding small business owners in the West reported increased stress, as opposed to 57% in the South.  Westerners are getting more sleep, too – just 22% reported regularly that they were not sleeping well due to worry vs. 38% in the South.

So what is stressing everyone out so much?  And why are Southerners more stressed than their counterparts out West?  According to the Hiscox survey, the biggest sources of worry for the year ahead across the US were:

  • 48% small business owners  won’t be able to attract new clients
  • 41% are worried about the rising cost of debt
  • 34% worry they won’t have the financial resources
  • 17% worry they won’t be able to maintain the level of service they’ve delivered over the last 18 months

Remember how Southern business owners were the most stressed?  Well, they’re not as stressed about attracting new clients. Compared to the other regions of the country, they were less worried in this regard (43%), while the average in every other region of small business owners who were anxious about growing their businesses, was over 50%. These same Southerners, however, were slightly more worried about rising debt costs (41%) than others. One way to reduce your stress is to make sure you have the right small business insurance in place.  Risk comes along with running a small business.  Having professional liability insurance (errors and omissions insurance), general liability insurance, and business owner insurance policies that are customized to the specific risks you face will help take some of the stress out of the equation. What’s stressing you out the most these days?  Although the easiest answer to reducing business stress would seem be to opening up a small business in the West, it’s just not that simple. What is your solution?