Cash flow is king to survival

A quarter of small business owners in the UK believe their company will fold in the next four years, research has claimed.

Late payments (54%), tax rates (44%) and cyber-attacks (27%) were the biggest concerns among the 500 owner-managers polled by cloud accounting software provider Xero.

Other challenges included Brexit (44%), maintaining or boosting levels of productivity (31%) and recruitment costs (19%).

Around a third (37%) of small business owners said they are experiencing their most turbulent period.

The pressures of running a small business in the current climate also affected more than a third of respondents’ mental health.

And owner-managers reported working an extra nine hours a week, in addition to their standard working hours.

On average, being their own boss saw owners pump £11,846 of their own money into the business.

Gary Turner, Xero co-founder, said:

“The ways small businesses work now are dramatically different from the 1980s when the first personal computers arrived, but businesses need to adapt to greater changes coming their way.

“New technologies will hasten a far greater consciousness towards the biggest killer of small businesses.

“Cashflow issues will decline as instant payment technologies take root as a cultural norm. I believe what we’ll see are 30-day payment terms going the way of the fax machine.”

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