Paul Holmes
3 min readMar 30, 2021

With this month’s TBE focus on Stress, reflecting on the last 12 months, it has been a challenging and stressful time for everyone, almost no-one has been immune from the effects of the pandemic, from the loss of friends and relatives or the restrictions to everyday life, some people have taken this in their stride for others the toll on mental health has been challenging.

For business owners this has been especially true, the pressure of fighting to keep the business afloat especially in industries that have completely shut down such as Events, trying to avoid losing staff, managing furlough for staff, working out how staff can work from home safely or remain working in an office or factory equally safely.

Mental health challenges for everyone working from home, isolated from colleagues dealing with Zoom or Team overload a new condition during the pandemic. From the occasional video meeting prior to Feb 20 to now having days of 6 or 7 hours has certainly been a challenge here!

Business owners from simply keeping the business running, through to seeing incredible demand causing massive strain on the business, individuals and owners alike. Almost all businesses have been affected in some way and this has been incredibly stressful.

No businesses could have planned for a pandemic, but those businesses that have weathered the storm, even thrived in it — there are a number of similarities.

· A strong reliance on systems and processes

· A team in place to run operationally day to day

· Business owner with strategic time to evaluate risks and threats, be able to see clearly what’s happening and steer the company through it, see opportunities and adapt the business to benefit.

If you as the business owner are swamped by the day to day running, firefighting, problem solving then during the pandemic it’s probably been a very stressful time and for some its been too much to deal with and the business has suffered as a result.

If you are working IN the business trying to just keep your head above the water, now is the time to address the situation, reduce the stress and force yourself to take an hour off, switch off phones and emails — think about what’s currently on your plate and write it all down, use mind-mapping to capture everything on an A3 sheet of paper, no matter how small or un business related — once everything is written down, your subconscious brain is then satisfied you have captured everything and the metaphorical weight on the shoulders starts to lift, write an action next to each item, then pick the most important one and get that action implemented as soon as possible.

If you know you are stressed in your business and need help to make changes then there is lots of help available — find someone with business experience to bring a different perspective and start to take back control and reduce the stress level.

PCH is a business consultancy specialising in helping large companies deal with overwhelm and then plan for growth.



Paul Holmes

Runs his own business consultancy, Engineer and Project Manager with corporate and public sector experience — enjoying helping making peoples businesses better