A massive personal sacrifice
A new study by Sage has revealed the startling numbers of SME owners who have needed to dip into their own savings to maintain their companies’ continuing existence, with some even having to re-mortgage their homes. More than two thirds of small businesses globally have needed financial interventions from owners to stay afloat, with 1 in 5 UK SME owners concerned about how they are going to pay employee salaries, which is a higher proportion than both France and Germany. This indicates the plight that many SME owners in the UK are facing as opposed to their continental counterparts. The study also states the main things British SME bosses want from the government to help them grow and develop, thereby helping the UK economy.
All work, no play
The research showed that 26% of business owners around the world would work over 50 hours a week, with 56% working weekends, as well as not using their full holiday entitlement for the year. This is a significant proportion of personal time which emphasises the need for a good work-life balance, something that can be hard to achieve as an SME leader.
A cry for help
As a consequence of these findings, 65% of UK small business owners said they would endeavour to employ up to 5 staff throughout the next couple of years, creating significant numbers of jobs for the economy. Crucially however, an eye watering 84% of owners said they had never got any monetary assistance from the government. This has prompted a list of wants from the government to ease the burden on SME’s:
• Diminish business rates/tax (57%)
• Moderate business bureaucracy and legislation (56%)
• Control energy/utility costs (31%)
• Decisive action in combating late payments (12%)
A word from the President on SME owners
Sage Europe President, Brendan Flattery, commented on the findings saying:
“Small and medium businesses are the engine of our economy. Their leaders are true heroes, willing to make a great personal sacrifice and take significant risks in the name of growth and job creation.”
“As a country we owe them a debt of gratitude, and it is the responsibility of our government to listen to their demands to reduce the burden of business rates and to also cut business bureaucracy. It is imperative the Chancellor’s review of this outdated tax brings the reform so desperately needed. Only then can UK businesses finally flourish.”
A personal view
Well, maybe we don’t often feel that heroic, but perhaps we do deserve some more breathing space, together with the opportunity to reflect on where we are going with our businesses. If you would like to chat over your options and identify a few more, to put yourself back in balance, in the driving seat, please give me a call on 0777 4548822.