According to the Small Business Administration, nearly 75% of small businesses are sole proprietorships. This means that most small business owners are trying to juggle everything themselves.

Owning your own business gives you the freedom to make decisions as you see fit. You get to choose when, where, and how your company works, but with that freedom comes great responsibility- and stress.

If your small business is in Southeast Wisconsin, Nolan Accounting can take some of the stress off of you by taking care of your payroll services, tax prep, accounting, and bookkeeping needs.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on managing stress as a small business owner.

6 Tips for Managing Stress

We have gathered 6 tips to help you manage the stress of being a business owner. They are as follows:

1. Appreciate the Good Things

Take some time to think about and list everything you love about your business and what is going well. You built this company and likely crushed a lot of professional goals on your path. Think about your successes and use those to motivate you to continue to grow instead of focusing on the problems you need to handle.

Write down every one of your accomplishments- even if you think it’s a small one- and place them where you can see them. Then, when you start to feel stressed or have doubts about your business and what you are capable of, read over those accomplishments to give yourself an instant mood boost.

2. Determine Your Priorities

Once you’ve created your list of accomplishments, and you know where your business is right now and where you started, its time to focus on your future. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What do you prioritize?
  • Where do you want your company to go?
  • What will give you the best return on your time and money?

Once you answer these questions, you can create goals for your business to help you move forward. This will give you full authority to say no if a task or opportunity comes up that does not align with your goals or is not a good use of your time.

3. Delegate & Automate

If there is a task that can be beneficial for your business but does not need your direct attention, you can delegate or automate it. By hiring employees, you can focus on your priorities and delegate things that others can be taught to do just as well as you.

Business experts suggest that you think about the Six T’s when you are determining what tasks can be delegated or automated:

  • Tiny
  • Tedious
  • Time-Consuming
  • Teachable
  • Terrible at
  • Time Sensitive

If you are not in a position that you can afford to hire someone, look for ways that you can automate the tasks that fall under these six T’s.

As a business owner, you must be prepared to take on a variety of stumbling blocks or unexpected expenditures. If you’re able to pass on some of these tasks, you can build your team while reducing your stress.

You can always delegate your financial tasks such as bookkeeping and accounting to Nolan Accounting. We will be happy to take care of your finances so that you don’t have to stress too much over them.

4. Improve Your Physical Environment

Chances are you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, dealing with paperwork and making phone calls. Sitting for extended periods of time is detrimental to your mental and physical health.

You may not realize it, but your physical environment has a major impact on your mental and physical resilience. If your furniture is not ergonomic, you could be slouching at your desk. This decreases your energy. Additionally, back pain associated with a poor setup is enough to ruin anyone’s good mood.

When you find yourself reinvesting in your business, consider updating your workspace setup. Make sure the monitor is high enough that you don’t have to hunch. Get a chair that supports your back. You may even consider getting a transitional desk so that you can sit or stand, giving you the opportunity to move more.

5. Care For Yourself

In order to function properly, your body requires adequate nutrition and water intake. If not, your mental and physical health is going to suffer. Keep a water bottle with you everywhere you go and take a break during the workday to get a balanced meal instead of skipping it. Try to drink one full bottle of water before lunch and another one before the workday is over.

You can also decrease stress by getting up and moving from time to time. Aim to get some form of exercise, even if it’s just some stretching beside your desk or going for a short walk. This releases endorphins, which leave you feeling less stressed and happy.

6. Create & Maintain Work-Life Balance

There is nothing in the world that will cause you to burn out faster than spending all of your time on work. Unfortunately, as a business owner, you may have a hard time turning it off at the end of the day. However, you are in charge of the hours, so make sure you create and maintain a work-life balance for yourself.

If you have a hard time with this, ask yourself why. Chances are, you did not start your own business so you could work all day and have zero time for anything else.

If you have established regular working hours but still struggle to switch from work to home, create an end-of-day routine. Once you’ve finished working, clean your workspace and begin an activity that you enjoy, such as calling a loved one or going for a walk. This will ease the transition.


If you’ve tried these six tips for managing stress but nothing seems to be helping, you may want to step back and take a closer look at your situation. Discuss how you’re feeling with a loved one or consider journaling to help figure out what is happening. Once you understand what is causing the stress and why you can’t manage it, revisit these tips to create a targeted approach.

One of the ways that you can decrease your stress is to put the burden of managing finances on someone else. Nolan Accounting can help. We can help with a variety of tasks, including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, and tax prep if your business is located in Southeast Wisconsin.