CEO’s & company founders reveal the most intimidating elements of running a business


A new study of CEO’s and founders has uncovered the most intimidating factors of running a business, with the sourcing of funds, growing a customer base and knowing which supplier to use topping the list of hurdles. What’s more, one in five respondents admitted to not being clued up on the supply chain within their own company.

One in nine UK company founders regret starting their own business according to a new study, with stress, cash-flow issues and working hours emerging as the top reasons why.

The team at conducted the research, quizzing more than 250 UK-based CEO’s and company founders on their attitudes towards starting their own business.

All taking part were initially given a list of different answers and asked to state any which had intimidated them when it came to the day-to-day running of their own business. The following 10 factors emerged as the elements most intimidating to the company leaders:


1.     Sourcing funds – 89%

2.     Growing customer base – 81%

3.     Sourcing suppliers – 77%

4.     Managing workloads – 71%

5.     Recruitment processes – 63%

6.     Handling pressure – 52%

7.     Competitors – 45%

8.     Inadequacy – 37%

9.     Industry jargon – 34%

10.  Success – 23%

More than one in five participants (21%) admitted they were not fully aware of the ins-and-outs of their own supply chain, with 1 in 17 (6%) saying the same about the current standing in their funding.

When all participants were asked if they had any regrets about the decision to start their own business, one in nine (11%) admitted that this was the case. Asked to divulge the main reasons for this, stress (91%), cash-flow issues (86%) and work hours (77%) were most frequently provided.

Alun Rafique, co-founder and CEO of, commented on the results of the study: "Starting your own business is a terrifying move for anyone, no matter how emotionally stable or ready you might feel for the life changing event. Alongside the immense amount of risk-taking and a significant reduction in salary, statistics seem to suggest that you are ultimately setting yourself up to fail.

“If you choose to start your own business you need to be prepared to immerse yourself fully in each step of the ladder, even if you aren’t as knowledgeable or experienced in certain areas. If you don’t feel clued up on what’s happening within your supply chain or regarding your funding, you must be prepared to take full responsibility should something go drastically wrong.”