There’s no doubt that the shifting economic sands are eroding resilience among business owners.
Insights from our members show that mental wellbeing has suffered immensely with owners feeling increased stress while running their enterprises. Many business owners are exhausted, anxious and living in a constant state of uncertainty which is undermining mental health. Instead of leading their business, members report they are back working on day-to-day operations, existing on disrupted sleep, taking fewer holidays and increasingly disconnected from their family and friends.
This is not a good state of affairs – and not one that is sustainable in any shape or form. COVID19 has affected everyone in some way and over the last eighteen months we’ve observed some sectors thrive while others have unravelled. Now we are starting to see the longer-term impact of COVID on businesses that have worked long and hard to keep going but with owners who are beginning to feel the heat of rapid change and relentless challenges.
Our regular Pulse Check monitors the wellbeing of business owners and we’ve seen how stressors such as employment issues, skills shortages, rising input prices and shipping delays have increased pressure on the small to medium business sector.
My message to you today is to reach out for support. You can’t take care of your businesses if you don’t take care of yourself. Our members have said they wouldn’t have got through this period without the help of other business owners in The Alternative Board network and they’ve been actively encouraging others to follow their lead and help each other.
Members report that pre-COVID, their confidence was high, they were able to lead their businesses, sleep was regular and they were connected and present when with their families and friends. Today, their state has shifted to feelings of anxiety, they are back working in the business, dealing with constant uncertainty with their sleep disrupted and fearful of the next challenge.
So don’t neglect your own wellbeing – if the business owner isn’t right, the business won’t be right either. We’re in for a long haul yet so get proper support in place. If you have been struggling through on your own – stop. Have an informal chat with us, come and see a board in action and how business owners like you help each other tackle challenges, solve problems and find ways to ease the pressure. You don’t have to do this on your own.