How to manage the stress of running a small business

Blogs 10 Apr 2024

Running a business can be overwhelming. FSB Business Banking Partner Cashplus Bank highlights some common warning signs of financial stress and shares tips on how to mitigate them.

Working on a calculator

If there’s one guarantee when it comes to running a business, it’s that things will at some point get stressful. That could be because you have too little or too much work. Or because you’re struggling with slow payments and subsequent cash flow issues. Or perhaps it’s the weight of responsibility that comes from employing staff and maintaining client relationships.

It’s not uncommon for small business owners to get overwhelmed and not know what to do, which can lead to a sense of isolation and feeling alone. It’s important to remember that anyone who has their own business can find themselves in a difficult situation. But there are always things that can be done.

Isolation and money worries

The first step is being honest with yourself about whether money problems are affecting your business. There are several common areas where you can look for warning signs.

Cash flow

  • Is your cash flow in the red without a valid reason?
  • Are you paying suppliers late or missing payments?
  • Are clients frequently paying late?
  • Is your cash flow uneven or unpredictable?
  • Is there less cash coming in or a shrinking list of orders?

Debt and funding

  • Are you frequently or increasingly reliant on credit?
  • Are you regularly late or missing loan repayments?
  • Do you constantly need to find new sources of funding for the business?


  • Are your profit margins decreasing over time?
  • Can you always cover basic operational costs?


  • Are employees leaving or your management structure subject to constant change?
  • Are you struggling to pay employees or suppliers on time?

Getting the right help is essential

It’s always important to get help – and there’s lots available depending on what you need.

Already missed a credit repayment?

Speak to your bank immediately to mitigate any potential fallout from a missed repayment. Cashplus Bank offers a few options to help, such as credit freezing and payment deferrals. Check out this article on managing repayments, which covers practical steps you can take to reduce your debt.

Are you repeatedly using your overdraft?

Relying on your overdraft to cover costs could mean you're spending more on interest than you need to be. In this case there are likely more efficient ways to manage your credit that will cost less in the long run. Cashplus has created an overdraft calculator to help customers compare the cost against other ways of borrowing.

Get free independent advice

You may prefer to seek advice from an independent organisation. There are several available. For impartial, free, and confidential help, speak to any of these help lines.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau provides advice and support on a range of topics, from work issues to debt, money and health
  • StepChange gives free debt advice to help people deal with debt and find solutions
  • MoneyHelper offers free and impartial help with money, including in-depth guides and tools and calculators to help track and plan ahead
  • Business Debtline provides free and independent debt advice to businesses


Stress is an inevitable if unwelcome part of setting up and running any business. But it’s important to remember you’re not alone, even if you feel it, and there are resources and organisations out there that can help. Whatever you’re going through, you won’t be the first or the last. Take a step back, be analytical about your problems, check for the warning signs we’ve listed in this article, and if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it.

This content was provided by 
Cashplus Bank

Manage your money your way for less

With FSB Business Banking, you can choose a bank account that works for your small business, and get discounts and deals negotiated just for FSB members.

 Find out more