New survey discovers which major financial issues are keeping SME’s awake at night

If you run as SME, what causes you sleepless nights? What financial issues give you stress and what keeps you tossing and turning? Well, a new survey by Solutions Loans claims to have discovered what financial issues the UK’s SME’s find most stressful.

Financial issues the UK’s SME’s find most stressful results

Solutions Loans asked 1,000 small to medium business owners which money-related responsibilities associated with entrepreneurship they considered most taxing and difficult to deal with, and addressed issues like generating profit and coping with delayed client payments to investing in better business practices and paying competitive salaries.

The Solution Loans’ survey found unsurprisingly that profit was the principle concern for most SMEs, with 58 per cent of respondents stating that remaining profitable is stressful. 52 per cent of respondents, on the other hand, cited late payments interrupting cash flow were a major gripe and were causing major problems.

Another issue the survey flagged up was just how difficult SMEs found it to find the right balance between attracting new clients and maintaining their business’ bottom line: 48 per cent said that this was one of the most stressful parts of running a small or medium sized business.

Only 32 per cent of the Solutions Loans’ respondents expressed difficulty in fully understanding their businesses’ financial situation and were finding it stressful. This figure stands in marked contrast to an earlier survey by KashFlow in May which found that sole traders and micro-businesses spent a combined total of 19 million hours every month managing their finances. 43 per cent of the respondents to the KashFlow survey did not rate their ability to manage finances highly at all, and were often frustrated by their inability to deal with problems.

In the Solutions Loans’ respondents, male business owners ranked managing overheads as their greatest concern: for female business owners, however, managing wage bills were a bigger concern. 39 per cent of the female respondents said they felt pressure to pay competitive salaries to retain top talent. In contrast only 19 per cent of the male respondents felt this pressure

What about business confidence? Well, Solutions Loans found that there was a widespread lack of confidence in the SME community. 500 of the business owners who responded admitted they found the financial side of entrepreneurship daunting. A third added that managing finances made them feel ‘stressed’. However, the issue of a lack of confidence in business management skills was eclipsed by client retention topping the list at 64 per cent, with effective cash flow a close second with 60 per cent.

The survey also addressed the issue of funding. Whilst access to funding is tricky to secure, it is also vital for fuelling company growth. For many of the businesses surveyed securing much-needed growth funds had proved to be difficult. 25 per cent of the survey’s respondents stated that finding funding had been a major source of stress over the last 12 months.

If you own an SME in the North West and are concerned by any of the issues raised in the Solutions Loans’ survey, then why not speak to Steven Glicher accountants. Our accountants can help your business identify the funding you’ll need, find the most suitable sources of finance, and help you with cash-flow projections, budgets and trading forecasts. For further information, call Steven Glicher accountants on 0161 485 8007, or email

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