We all know how tough the last couple of years have been for small businesses. The blood, sweat and tears that business owners have been putting into their ventures has been essential for keeping the economy moving but this pressure can also create stress – as our study found.

The study found that over three-quarters of small business owners suffer from some stress-related ailment, while nearly half of them say they feel more stressed than they did a year ago. In these tough economic times, it is important that business leaders are honest with how they are feeling and call on support when they need it.

Not surprisingly their biggest source of stress is the fear of losing their business (57%). But pressures in today’s tough business climate are also putting an increasing strain on them. Many worry about losing clients (54%) or feel the pressure of bringing in new business (52%). A tailored professional indemnity insurance policy may help to mitigate these risks.

If the business they have worked so hard to build is under threat, it’s understandable that company owners will try to keep as much of a work/life balance as they can while doing everything possible to keep the business afloat. However on a positive, most (68%) say they try to keep a good work/life balance.

Many entrepreneurs would say they thrive on stress, that they make better decisions under pressure and have some of their best ideas when up against the clock. But stress is meant to be a temporary condition. If it becomes the norm rather than the exception in your working day it can quickly lead to burnout. Chronic stress can lead you to make poor decisions causing your business to suffer.

It’s important for entrepreneurs to take steps to tackle stress so you can stay at the top of your game. Eat healthily, take exercise, get enough sleep, but also get away from work once in a while. Spend time with your family and go out with your friends. Put it in your diary if you have to. You’ll appreciate it. And so will they.

What’s good is that most entrepreneurs (64%) said they felt mentally prepared to tackle the business challenges they face in the year ahead. We’re also here to help lighten your load and manage your business’s risks by providing flexible small business insurance policies that will put your mind at rest

For more details about the Hiscox SME research and Donna Dawson’s top tips for combating stress, visit: www.hiscox.co.uk/smehealth