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Business management proving a struggle for Kiwi SMEs

Kiwi small business owners are struggling when it comes to certain areas of business management, according to a new report released by Prospa, a small business lending specialist. 

The study, carried out by YouGov Galaxy, found more than three quarters (76%) of respondents were finding one or more areas of business management difficult. 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.

According to the report, 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.

"The study highlights a number of themes and experiences that will no doubt feel very familiar to small business owners out there," says Adrienne Church, Prospa New Zealand managing director.

"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," she explains.

"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," Church adds. 

"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."

The study found that while business management is an area Kiwi small business owners might struggle with, they are not afraid to put in the hard yards when it comes to running your own venture in New Zealand. 

The research 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.