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New research reveals the biggest struggles for small business owners

Most entrepreneurs go into business because they have a passion ­– an idea or product that keeps them up at night with excitement.

But, as rewarding as it is to work towards a big vision each day, most small business owners end up doing so much more. Suddenly, they become a project manager, accountant, salesperson and marketer, all in one busy package!

If you’ve ever struggled to keep all the wheels turning in your business, you’re not alone. A new study commissioned by Prospa shows that 75% of small business owners struggle to juggle one or more areas of business management.

“Being a small business owner is a tough but rewarding gig,” says co-founder and joint CEO of Prospa, Beau Bertoli. “They start out with a vision to be their own boss or follow their passion but need a wide range of skills to keep the business moving.”

Finance and marketing are the biggest challenges for small business owners

The YouGov Galaxy research shows that digital marketing is the biggest challenge for small business owners, with 35% stating they need help in this area. Another 30% admit to struggling with managing their finances, including tax, accounting and budgeting.

Short and long-term effects of the business juggling act

It’s no secret that wearing many different hats in business can lead to increased stress and reduced work/life balance. In fact, 90% of people surveyed admit they put in long hours in order to manage the various aspects of their small business. 85% reported that they experience negative emotions, such as frustration, burnout and fear of failure, as a result.

Ben Yusop, creative director and founder of Ben Yusop Design Studio, is no stranger to this juggling act.

“As a small business owner, I have to do everything myself,” he says. “It’s crazy how much time it takes working on parts of the business that are outside my passion – design.”

The study also highlighted how juggling many different tasks can affect business profitability.

25% of small business owners report that it had led to serious cash flow issues that nearly put them out of business. Another 34% said they had lost opportunities to grow their business, while 29% were forced to spend money on expert help and 27% lost revenue and/or customers.

Future steps: How to manage the business juggling act

So, with so many different business tasks competing for your attention, where should you invest your time and money? The research shows 26% of small business owners felt that a marketing campaign would have the biggest impact on their ability to manage and grow their business. A further 33% believe upskilling in financial literacy, marketing and technology would help their business thrive.

While operations like marketing, financial management and technology may be beyond an entrepreneur’s initial skill set, they’re essential for long-term growth. So, ultimately, small business owners have two options: outsource to an expert or learn the skills and DIY.

“While small business owners are time-poor, there are ways to build skills and confidence in these areas,” says Bertoli. “At Prospa we provide tools and educational resources to help. We offer funding solutions if investing in expert support is the direction you choose to go or if you need help with cash flow.”

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The information in this post is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. Nothing contained in this post constitutes advice or an endorsement or recommendation of any kind by Prospa. Any links to third party websites are strictly for informational purposes only. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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