To say that recent months have presented stern challenges for businesses would be quite the understatement – and recent research has shed greater light on precisely what keeps small-business owners up at night.
According to an article by smallbusiness.co.uk, a new report has revealed that more than three quarters of small firms – 78% – have pinpointed the ongoing cost-of-living crisis as the most serious threat to their survival in the coming months.
The research also found that a quarter of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were ignoring their business’s financial situation, fearing discovering just how dire things really are.
That is an incredibly worrying sign when the need for targeted and specialised HMRC help for business in Newton Abbot, Plymouth, or Wellington – as TS Partners can provide – might scarcely have been more important. But what else emerged from this intriguing and pertinent research?
There are real benefits to be had from keeping a close eye on your business finances
Just in case the above findings had led you to presume there were only discouraging results from the research, we thought it important to note that the small business owners who took their firm’s “financial wellness” seriously enjoyed various advantages.
Such benefits included greater self-confidence (45%), having saved for the future (42%), and lower stress levels (39%).
Overall, though, two thirds of small business owners in Britain admitted that the last two years had been the most challenging for them since the beginning of their venture. And almost half – 47% – expressed fears that the coming 12 months would turn out to be even more difficult.
As aforementioned, it was the current cost-of-living crisis that the respondents said they regarded as the biggest threat to their business. There were many other challenges cited by the research participants, though, including maintaining a steady cash flow (29%), managing their own mental health (18%), and coping with the rising costs of raw materials (17%).
How are SME owners dealing with these worries?
Overall, some 52% of SMEs expressed concern about their future, and over a quarter of the owners of such businesses – 27% – admitted they were unsure whether they would even still be in business in another 12 months’ time.
As for what SME owners were doing to aid their business’s chances of survival, 44% said they were working weekends, and 36% claimed they had not taken a holiday for the last six months or more. A third of the participants in the research said they were regularly working seven days a week.
Almost two thirds of respondents said they were being kept awake at night by the stress and worry of operating a business – a situation that left a third of them feeling alone and isolated due to, in the words of smallbusiness.co.uk, “there simply being too much going on in the world for them to process.”
Is now the time to take a more proactive step in managing your firm’s financial health?
As we stated above, though, the survey results didn’t offer only bleak reading. For example, a fifth of SMEs said that the last two years had positively affected their ability to manage their financial wellbeing, and 21% said they felt more empowered as a business owner after improving their financial knowledge.
Many of the research participants also said they had emerged from the last few years feeling more financially savvy and with a greater sense of being in control of their business.
Outcomes like the above should help show you just how crucial it is to pay close attention to your business’s financial health – because this can directly impact your health and well-being.
For a more detailed discussion about the difference that experts could make to your organisation’s prospects by our own professional and responsive HMRC help for business in Newton Abbot, Wellington, or Plymouth, please don’t wait any longer to enquire to the TS Partners team.
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