Small business owners kept awake by cash flow concerns

Nearly two thirds of small business owners are kept awake at night by cash flow concerns, new research has revealed.

A study from Barclaycard found that a third of SME bosses report that a lack of working capital has also inhibited their growth plans.

Each owner reportedly spends an average of half a working day every week on actions related to financial management and cash flow.

Some 32% say that late payments are a major issue while around one in ten owners say they have come close to giving up on their business entirely due to financial issues.

Of those who reported cash flow problems, 27% said it meant they had cancelled plans to expand their product ranges, while a similar number said it stopped them finding new custom.

Just under a quarter of owners said a lack of finance meant they were unable to invest in new technology and 22% said it prevented them from moving locations or opening a new office.

When quizzed on how their situation could be improved, a quarter of SME bosses said they would like to receive guaranteed payment dates from customers.

Meanwhile 16% said they want more protection for their accounts from external factors such as suppliers entering insolvency and 14% want a broader range of payment options.

Marc Pettican, managing director of Barclaycard Commercial Payments said that working capital is the 'top priority' for most SMEs.

He added that many find themselves in situations that are “wholly preventable†provided they receive the right support and suggested firms undertake options reviews to find the best solutions for them.

From alternative finance options that can assist with refinancing to solvent restructuring that can streamline the business, a number of outcomes could be available.

The key for any business owners facing difficulty is to act at the earliest opportunity in order to take control of their finances and reap the long-term benefits.


By Phil Smith


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