Small business owners losing sleep over money worries

Almost a third of small business decision-makers are struggling to sleep because of concerns about the challenges they are facing, according to new research

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A survey of small firms, conducted by Direct Line business insurance, has found that the current economic climate is affecting the health and wellbeing of small business owners and managers.

Losing sleep as a result of business challenges is affecting 29% of SME decision-makers. The issue is particularly prevalent amongst small (10-49 employees) and micro (1-9 employees) businesses, with 40% of small and 37% of micro-business managers losing sleep.

In addition, 22% of SME decision-makers say they are suffering from ill health because of the business pressures they are under. This rises to 27% amongst micro firms and 30% amongst small businesses. Over half (54%) of those polled say they are working longer hours compared to previous years.

Other key issues raised by recipients include:

  • gaining new customers: overall, 29% say this is harder at present, rising to 35% for sole traders and 34% for micro-business owners.
  • generating enough revenue: over a quarter (27%) cite this as a concern. A worrying 38% of sole traders say making enough revenue is problematic.
  • rising operating costs: a quarter of business decision-makers say rising prices are causing difficulties.
  • securing new finance for their business: this is a concern for 45% of the SMEs polled, while staying on top of existing loan repayments is front of mind for 38%.

The biggest business challenges

Furthermore, a survey of leaders in 1,000 UK SMEs by take of payments has identified the biggest concerns for business owners. When asked ‘what is the number one challenge your business faced in 2023?’, the results show that money is the biggest issue of all, with 46% citing financial issues – up from 9% in 2022. The business owners were also asked about their projected business performance:

  • 20% expect their companies to struggle in the next 12 months, double the rate in 2022 (10%)
  • 24% expected their companies to grow in the next 12 months, down from 32% in 2022
  • 5% of firms expect to close in 2023, down from 10% last year
  • 4% of business owners expect to sell their business in 2023, down from 12%.

ACCA members can access support on mental health and wellbeing on our wellbeing hub.

Practitioners can also support their clients by upskilling themselves with free accredited learning modules and webinars from our partners Capitalise on access to financial support.

Brought to you in conjunction with Atom Content Marketing. Offering practical advice to help small businesses succeed.