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Facing up to business stress

By Jo Whittle
18 January 2019

writes Peter Wright, partner, Haines Watts.

For the majority of business owners, their relationship with their business is a mixture of joy, a sense of purpose and inevitably a share of headaches. Sometimes, there are times when the pressures of work can accumulate. Three quarters of business owners admit in private that running a business affects their mental health. Nearly 15% of owners feel that their mental health is a major concern, yet only a very small proportion seek help.

What can business owners do to manage the pressure?

Take a break

Make sure you have gaps in your calendar to do things you enjoy. Play some sport, have a short break, indulge in a hobby – primarily switch off from the business.

Avoid money worries

Juggling business and personal finance can be the biggest source of stress. Business planning can help identify the pinch points and how to deal with them.

Build a trusted team

The owner knows everything about the business as they build it up. It is important, though, to develop a committed management team. This will not only take some of the pressure off the owner, but ultimately add value to the business.

Regain your perspective

Recall why you first went into business and why you enjoy it. If your goals have changed, maybe it is time to re-adjust your priorities.

Talk to someone

The proverb ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ is very apt. By speaking with someone, maybe a family member or a friend, you can get impartial advice and support. The most important aspect is to spot when business issues are going beyond the everyday and getting you down – then you need to act.

If your mental health is negatively affected by your business, there is lots of support available.

Mind, the mental health charity support over 513,000 people across England and Wales. They make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone. Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

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