SME owners are working up to 80 hour weeks, are losing sleep about cash flow and almost one in four are predicting revenue to decline, according to results of the Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index released recently. Since September 2014, a six monthly poll of 1200 small to medium enterprise leaders across all states and key industries has revealed the following:
It highlights that SME confidence has taken a hit despite the resilience of the sector, which according to ABS statistics employs almost half of the 10.7 million Australians in the workforce.
“For the first time since the Index began, SMEs forecasting positive growth (48.4 percent) are outnumbered by SMEs forecasting negative growth or no change (51.6 percent).
The top three concerns were cash flow (72.5 percent), not having enough time to get things done (55.2 percent) and customer or supplier issues (39 percent). 17.3 percent were worried about disruption of their business model, and 13.3 percent cited staff issues. “SMEs nominated cash flow as the most stressful element of business. They cited credit conditions as a key barrier to growth,” Langham said. “With the Index highlighting that cash flow keeps 72.5 percent of respondents awake at night, it’s crucial for these leaders to find the right funding to support their business.
SME owners putting in long hours – A 50+ hour week is standard for most SMEs (88.8 percent). Almost half of SME owners and senior managers (43.7 percent) are spending 60 to 80 hours a week working on their business, which equates to 12+ hour days, six days a week.
Almost half of SMEs (44.6 percent) believe mobile and digital technology has had a negative impact on their work/life balance. Only 15.7 percent of small businesses believe it has led to better work hours or flexible working conditions.
We can help you put strategies in place to minimise and avoid the above issues. We must be proactively thinking and working at how we can improve our businesses. If any of the above rings true for you, please contact us so we can discuss how we can help.