Paying back government COVID loans, a lack of consumer spending, and steep fuel price increases are among the biggest threats small business owners face in the coming year.
According to a survey of 1,000 small-business owners, two-thirds of those who have been in business since before the pandemic say the last two years have been the most difficult since they began.
Nearly half (47%) believe the coming year will be even more challenging.
Managing their own mental health and uncertainty about Anglo-international relations are among the other challenges they’ve identified.
Furthermore, three out of five (62%) small business owners have experienced sleepless nights as a result of their concerns about their company.
SMEs are attempting to gain greater financial control.
More than a quarter of a million people (12%) believe their company will go out of business in the next year.
Despite 44% working weekends, 36% not taking a vacation for six months or more, and a third working seven-day weeks on a regular basis, this is the case.
However, one-sixth of SMEs are hoping for a boost in profits from the Platinum Jubilee extended Bank Holiday, and a third are waiting for Christmas to boost sales.
“Financial woes and stress can have a negative impact on health and wellness,” Ben Ramsden, head of SMEs at PayPal UK, which carried out the study, said.
“A vital tool for small business owners in tough times is staying on top of their financial wellness.
“Minimizing the personal impact of running a business, which can be isolating and difficult for entrepreneurs, should be a top priority.”
Scarlett & Mustard co-founder Sandy Ruddock is a small business owner.
Given the current challenges, three out of five business owners admit to finding it stressful to run their company.
Furthermore, a quarter of business owners ignore their company’s financial health, fearful of the truth.
However, SMEs are attempting to gain more control over their financial well-being by upskilling themselves by using finance apps (31%), as well as learning from previous mistakes (53%).
As a result of the global pandemic’s unpredictability, 56% of people now feel more financially savvy.
After experiencing such uncertainty, more than a quarter (27%) feel in control of their own business, and one in five (21%) feel more empowered as a business owner as a result of improving their financial knowledge.
According to OnePoll’s research, having a financially sound business will open up new doors for small business owners.
This includes having more self-confidence as a leader (45%), having savings for the future (42%), and feeling less stressed (39%) among others.
PayPal is helping businesses to build resilience
“We’ve launched a number of solutions, including PayPal’s Business of Change: Wellbeing & Empowerment report, to provide business owners with practical advice for managing their financial wellbeing and to help them set themselves up for success in 2022,” Ben added.
“Our biggest challenge has been rising raw material costs, but we’re hesitant to raise our prices to avoid impacting our customers – it’s a lot of pressure to deal with,” Sandy Ruddock, small business owner and co-Founder of Scarlett & Mustard, said.
“However, since relaunching our website last year, our sales have increased, with 80 percent of our online sales now being made solely through PayPal,” says the company.
“It’s really helped to alleviate some of the associated stress, and I’d definitely recommend other small business owners who are feeling the pinch to invest in their social media presence to drive online growth even further.”
To get practical advice on how to manage business finances visit – https://www.paypal.com/uk/brc/topics/build-business-resilience.