The two reasons why business owners have problems sleeping, and how to fix them

From being self employed in a home office, to managing multiple sites and a big team - running your own business is one of the toughest things you can do. Many people can leave their job at the office, but a business owner doesn’t get to do that very often. They’re responsible for everything from the finances to legal compliance, and according to a 2017 study by KPMG, it’s causing them sleep problems.

90% have lost sleep because of financial worries

KPMG asked 250 small business owners what was keeping them up at night, and found that nearly all had struggled with sleep on at least one occasion because of worries about their business’ finances.  More than half “routinely suffer from sleep deprivation as a result of finance-related concerns”. 74% say cash flow is their biggest worry, and 65% find the thought of their tax return keeps them up at night.

Stress-induced sleep deprivation impacts the brain and the body at the same time, and it’s impossible to escape our natural, human need for sleep. According to NHS information, lack of sleep disrupts your immune system, can lead to low mood, and studies have shown it even makes you worse at decision-making. All of this is pretty catastrophic for a business owner.

A motivator and a demotivator?

Business services firm Haines Watts found that small business owners’ “health and personal relationships” suffer when their business is causing them stress. 35% have lost motivation at least once a year since establishing their business, and 53% say financial worries are the biggest drain on their enthusiasm. Volume of work (43%) and responsibility to staff (42%) come second and third.

Despite being a major stressor, making more cash and growing your business is a motivator too. 64% positively agreed that money is their most powerful influencer, increasing to 85% of over-55s.

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Online services can reduce stress and help you grow

KPMG’s research highlighted that the main causes of lack of sleep - cash flow and tax concerns - are typically taken care of by the business owner themselves, rather than their accountant. Small business owners need accounting services that support their need for growth and automate time-consuming admin, otherwise they’re going to continue to go to bed stressed.

Online accounting software can:

  • Project cash flow.
  • Create and chase invoices.
  • Predict which customers/clients are going to pay late.
  • Calculate your tax and VAT for you.
  • Run payroll.
  • Submit tax returns to HMRC for you.

Online accounting services do it all for you, presenting the data clearly, and showing you what’s working well, and what isn’t, at a glance.

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