Over one in three stressed out small business owners driven to drink

posted by 7 years ago in News

How do you deal with stress? Some entrepreneurs hotfoot it to the gym, others go for a run or a spa treatment but an alarming number are hitting the bottle.

35 per cent currently turn to alcohol to relieve stress according to new research by Crunch Accounting. The poll, which reveals worrying-levels of self-medication, follows the UK’s chief medical officer’s announcement of new stricter alcohol guidelines.

10 per cent more men (39.5%) than women (29.5%) were found to be seeking solace from alcohol according to the research.

So what are the main issues causing entrepreneurs stress?

Factors raising stress levels included the unpredictable pace of work (23%), late payments from clients (13%) and red tape (9%). Interestingly insufficient work (21%) was found to be causing more anxiety than too much work (11%). Both personal problems and bookkeeping were cited by 5%.

Jason Kitcat from Crunch said: “It’s extremely worrying that so many of the freelancers and SMEs that drive our economy forward are turning to drink to deal with stress. It’s clear that the government needs to do more to reduce the burden of red tape and ensure that freelancers and small business owners’ rights are being better protected. On average it takes freelancers 25 days to chase a payment, and cashflow is a consistent source of stress, this is simply not good enough.”

Here are Businesscomparison.com’s top 5 alternative ways to relieve stress.


One sure-fire way of relieving mental pressures and anxieties is by doing something physical. It will seem like the last thing you feel like after work, however you may find it becomes the part of your day or week that you look forward to the most.


Humour is a great way of relieving stress. Take the time to meet with friends and, if they don’t tickle your funny bones, head out to your local comedy store for some laughs!

Step outside

Walking, cycling or gardening are all ways to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re feeling adventurous then try taking up the free treasure-hunting activity Geocaching.


Whether you get on the Xbox, dust off your board games or play ‘make-believe’ with your kids it’s important to switch off from reality and do something trivial for an hour or so.


Nothing beats the great feeling of giving your time to help others. Okay so time may feel in short supply when you’re working for yourself, however helping to run a local kids sports team, working in a soup kitchen or fundraising can all be rewarding and don’t have to be too demanding.