SMEs Struggle with Business Reality

Over a third of SMEs are finding it harder to run their business than first thought. Despite this, 95% wouldn’t go back to working for someone else


27 Aug 2015

Small business owners are the backbone of the UK economy, however many claim running their own company has proved tougher than imagined, and worry conditions are getting worse.

Despite this, most remain undimmed by their experiences and entrepreneurship is on the rise. Last year saw a record 581,000 businesses start up, according to Companies House, and 95% of small business owners wouldn’t want to work for someone else, according to Worldpay research.

Business reality can be tough, however, with over a third of small business owners (36%) realising that running a company was harder than expected within the first month of operating. Keeping on top of paperwork, managing cash flow, accurate forecasting, managing staffing and resources, all prove challenging everyday tasks.

SMEs make up 99% of the private sector businesses in the UK, adding a considerable amount to the UK economy, so challenging times in the first few weeks of operation are not just a matter for the business owner, but for wider industry and government too.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director, Worldpay, said: “We know that small business owners have it hard. One in five hasn’t taken a week’s holiday in three years and the reality of running a business can leave even the most hardened entrepreneur stressed and overwhelmed.

“Small business owners are trapped in a vicious cycle of paperwork. This deluge of admin wastes valuable time and distracts from the day job. Embracing new tools and technologies will lighten this load and ensure they are not left behind in the race for success.”

Whilst keeping track of performance is essential, most small business owners (75%) are still using basic home computer packages to run operations and 17% rely purely on pen and paper. It’s no wonder that almost two thirds (71%) struggle to produce a three year financial projection and 40% can’t access an up-to-date profit and revenue tracker.

Worldpay’s new online tool, My Business Dashboard, provides businesses with an easy way to access and review transaction data, save time on financial admin, and even helps identify when to take a couple of well-deserved days off.  


About the data:
Survey of 500 UK small business owners (less than 50 employees) carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Worldpay in June 2015.

For more information please contact:
Sophie Bent, Golin:  T +44 (0)207 067 0558
Kate Mills, Worldpay:  T +44 (0) 203 664 6116.

About Worldpay
Worldpay is one of the world’s leading independent payment processing companies, with three operating divisions: Global eCommerce, US and UK.
As the leading payment processor in the UK and Europe, Worldpay helps businesses of all sizes sell more to their customers by accepting credit and debit card payments in-store, online, via mail or telephone, and on the move.
In 2014 we handled 42% of all card payments made in Britain, and processed over 11.5 billion transactions across the world. Our online payment options cater for 326 payment types and 126 currencies, in 146 countries.

27 Aug 2015