When asked what keeps them awake at night, one in four (26 per cent) SME bosses say that they worry about the impact of work on their lives. Profit & loss concerns adversely affect one in five (18 per cent), followed by managing client demands (17 per cent), lack of business growth (15 per cent) and access to finance (13 per cent).
When it comes to bosses’ biggest people worries, losing staff came top for 29 per cent. Staff loyalty was a concern reported by a quarter (25 per cent) and a similar proportion (24 per cent) identified skills shortages as their biggest problem.
Mike Davis, head of SME at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “Pressure can help us to thrive but too much for too long or in the wrong place at the wrong time can be overwhelming and make for sleepless nights.”
Wages were bosses’ top cash concern, with 27 per cent identifying paying employees as their biggest cost issue, followed by access to finance (22 per cent), operational overheads such as rent and equipment (15 per cent) and ability to pay suppliers (15 per cent).
Davis continued: “Running a small business is often exhilarating and many SME bosses wouldn’t change it for the world. But it’s rarely trouble-free and, by identifying and addressing the problems you can do something about and accepting that some things simply have to go on the back burner you can keep moving ahead.”