Research with business owners reveals biggest challenges
New research (1) from investment holding company MBH Corporation shows staff retention is the biggest challenge for small business owners ahead of worries such as late payments and access to finance.
MBH Corporation’s study found 35% of SME owners ranked holding on to good staff against competition from big firms as their biggest issue. That was more than double the 16% who cited access to finance as their biggest challenge and narrowly ahead of the 33% who said late payment of invoices is their biggest obstacle.
Staff issues rank as major obstacles, the research shows, with 25% saying recruiting good people is a major challenge in running a business while 12% said not having anyone to discuss ideas with is their biggest challenge.
MBH Corporation’s research shows business owners are however generally optimistic about the future with the recent Budget from chancellor Rishi Sunak boosting confidence.
Around two out of five (36%) of SMEs questioned say the Budget was positive for them and the businesses they run with just 11% claiming it was negative. More than half (53%) say the Budget was neutral in terms of their business.
Most SMEs now believe their businesses will recover to pre-pandemic levels by next year if not earlier. Around 30% expect their businesses to be back where they were by the end of the year while another 21% expects to have fully recovered by 2022. Nearly one in four (24%) say they are currently either performing better than pre-Covid 19 or are already back to where they were.
Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation plc said: “SMEs are much more sensitive to the impact of good staff than bigger firms, so it is no surprise to see that retention and recruitment are such major issues for business owners.
“It is an issue that we are well aware of and almost all the businesses in our group use their allocation of public stock to retain and attract staff which helps them in levelling the playing field with big corporates.
“Throughout the pandemic we have seen huge dedication and great innovation from small business owners and their teams as they made sure they continued to serve their clients despite all the problems. It is great news that so many are confident they can get back to where they were before the pandemic and even do better in time.”
MBH Corporation has 25 companies in its group. Profitable small businesses join the group in order to benefit from the advantages of being part of a larger PLC. Company owners retain their autonomy and become co-owners of the listed vehicle.
Stock plans incentivise the companies to accelerate their growth trajectory using the resources of the plc including expertise, skill transfer of best- in- class practices, cross-selling to other group companies and where appropriate, zero cost funding for new growth projects.
- MBH Coproration PLC commissioned the consumer research company Consumer Intelligence to interview 288 SME owners. They were interviewed online between 5 and 8 March 2021
- MBH Corporation Place commissioned the consumer research company Consumer Intelligence to interview 306 SME owners. They were interviewed online between 21 and 23 August 2020