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.”
Business owners are ready to meet challenges with creative solutions. We spoke with Longshot Cafe owner Nick Ravanti about the changes he’s making now.View more
Practical tips from small business owners to help you manage the COVID-related surge in late payments and reduce an outstanding balance.View more
Subscribe to the Prospa Blog
Be inspired! Sign up to Prospa’s newsletter to receive tips, tools and small business success stories straight to your inbox.