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Prospa survey highlights struggles of small business

Auckland, 13 June 2019: A new study of small business owners has provided critical insight into the experience of running your own venture in New Zealand – and it’s reaffirmed that we’re not afraid to put in the hard yards.

The research, commissioned by small business lending specialist, Prospa, and carried out by YouGov Galaxy, found that nearly half (49%) of small business owners around the country are working between 6-7 days a week on their business, with one in five (20%) working seven days.

Long hours aren’t the only challenge our small business owners are facing, with over three quarters (76%) of respondents reporting having struggled with one or more areas of business management.

Among that group, finance and accounting was by far the single biggest source of concern (39%), followed by IT / technology (31%) and digital marketing (30%). One in five (20%) also cited struggles with debt collection and managing overdue invoices.

The consequences of struggling with an aspect of business management varied from having to put in extra hours to learn new skills (43%), to lost opportunities to grow the business (38%) or lost customers and revenue (28%). One in five (20%) among that group reported experiencing cash flow issues that brought them to the brink of going out of business.

Beyond this, the study also highlighted the emotional and personal impact that long hours and business worries can have on small business owners.

An overwhelming majority (88%) of small business owners who have struggled with aspects of business management reported experiencing negative emotions as a result – most commonly frustration (44%), stress (40%) and feeling overwhelmed or burnt out (38%).

Meanwhile, 81% of respondents said they’ve had to make sacrifices in other areas of life in order to focus on their business. The areas most impacted were personal time (58%), hobbies (57%) and exercise (48%) – but family time (38%), relationships with a significant other (33%), and sleep (30%) weren’t far behind.

Prospa New Zealand Managing Director, Adrienne Church, said:

“The study highlights a number of themes and experiences which will no doubt feel very familiar to small business owners out there. Irrespective of the industry you’re a part of – whether you’re an accountant, a plumber, a retailer – running your own venture requires a huge amount of time, energy and personal sacrifice.

“Money management and cash flow are always one of the biggest concerns for small business owners. When you’re working up to seven days a week managing sales, people, marketing and regulations, then fast, simple access to finance is crucial. We offer funding options for those who might be thinking about hiring an expert or need help with cash flow to keep their business moving.”


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