Managing Financial Stress While Running a Business

Learn how to cope with financial stressors while problem-solving for your business during uncertain times


Stressful times make running a business even more challenging—especially while juggling financial obligations like paying rent or making payroll. Today’s unprecedented business environment means some companies have closed their doors indefinitely—while others transition to working from home and grapple with an uncertain future. 

While the outlook may seem bleak, business owners remain strong and resilient. Here are a few strategies to help cope with financial stressors while problem-solving in today’s uncertainty:

Man sitting at a desk working on a computer.

Know Your Numbers

One thing you should prioritize is knowing your financial situation like the back of your hand. Document everything you can, from how much you have in cash reserves, to planned expenditures and outstanding payments. Tackling this will help provide clarity around your business’ financial position and maybe even some peace of mind.

Streamline Where You Can

Identify opportunities to trim spending: You may be able to cut down marketing spend or pause unnecessary projects to help reduce expenses and keep the business afloat. Examine every planned expenditure through a new lens to help prioritize what’s most needed right now.

Reach Out for Help

You may be surprised by the vendors and partners who are willing to help. See if you can delay or reduce your expenditures for the near term, but be sure to follow up with anyone who owes you money to explain your situation and see if they are in a position to expedite payment.

Build Your Support System

As a business owner, you’re used to putting your team first—but now is the time to make yourself a priority, too. Schedule an appointment with your accountant, business banker or even counselor to help work through the stress you may be feeling right now and lean on other entrepreneurs if possible. It always helps to know that you’re not alone.

Be Vigilant

Unfortunately, fraudsters tend to view crises as the perfect time to strike businesses and consumers. Be on the lookout for scammers posing as a vendor asking to send money to a new account, a fake telephone call from the IRS, or a phony cease and desist order demanding money. Check out this resource for more on how to avoid business fraud during uncertain times.

Get Creative

Business owners are known for rolling with the punches, and now may be a time to launch that innovative offering or alternative business model that’s been in the back of your mind for a while. Can you offer digital services for your customers, or introduce VIP offerings or subscription options that your most loyal customers have been asking for? Encourage your team members to participate in the brainstorming as a way to keep them motivated and involved in your decision-making. 

With the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Capital One recognizes that business owners are facing an unprecedented set of challenges. Visit this page for more information on how Capital One is supporting our business community during this time.


We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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