Under pressure

Written by ProfitGuide Staff

From Turkey to Taiwan, from India to Ireland and everywhere in between, business owners are more stressed than they were last year, says a new study. But compared to our international counterparts, Canadians are in good shape.

Grant Thornton International, an accounting, tax and business advisory organization, surveyed 6,300 owners of medium-sized businesses in 24 countries and found that stress levels had rocketed by more than a third in only one year.

The Taiwanese saw the biggest jump in stress; a staggering 69% said their levels had increased or increased significantly. They were followed by Hong Kong and Turkey (54%), India and the Philippines (53%) and Russia and Japan (51%).

Business owners everywhere reported increased stress, but less affected were those in Sweden, where less than a quarter (23%) claimed their stress went up, the Netherlands (25%), and Canada (26%).

“Wherever you’re doing business in the world, you are feeling the strain much more this year,” says Grant Thornton LLP partner John Holdstock.

That said, the survey identifies different reasons for stress. Entrepreneurs in India, South Africa and Russia, for example, are stressed because of their fast-expanding economies and their difficulty keeping up with demand.

Those in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore feel the strain of increased competition and concern about the economy.

The relatively small percentage of entrepreneurs in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada who report that their stress levels are rising say it’s because of an increase in customer expectations and pressure on cashflow and profits.

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