Business owners’s personal lives take a dip in South West

Rob Harris

Rob Harris of Close Invoice Finance

A staggering 52 per cent of SME owner managers in the South West say that the state of the economy is taking its toll on their personal life, according to new statistics released today.

The latest Close Business Barometer shows that of those who say their personal life is suffering, 54 per cent are stressed and over a third say that their work-life balance has deteriorated. The survey canvasses the views of SME owners across the UK on a range of financial issues.

Rob Harris, local head of Close Invoice Finance said; “A huge 94 per cent of business owners in the South West said they believe this recession still shows no sign of abating, and over a quarter said that their trading conditions have worsened over the last 12 months.

“When asked about their main concerns for the coming year, 26 per cent of respondents cited the possibility of a double dip recession, and a further fifth said they’re most worried about market volatility.

“Looking at the statistics, it’s not really surprising that all this fear and uncertainty is having a negative effect on bosses’ private lives, knocking their work-life balance off kilter and affecting their health,” he said.

Problems such as bad debt, struggling cash flow and late payments account for 18 per cent of business owners main concerns for the coming year.

“Cash flow management and the issues surrounding it needn’t be such a major cause of stress though,” said Mr Harris. “My advice is this, don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your cash flow. Forward thinking companies are now using a blend of traditional bank lending, asset-based lending and leasing to meet their funding needs.”

Asset based lending and in particular, invoice finance, is a flexible solution that has been steadily outperforming other types of business finance, including bank lending*.

“Unpaid invoices are actually a huge asset for many businesses, hence the rising popularity of invoice finance. Put simply, it means that when you raise an invoice, you will receive up to 95 per cent of the value of that invoice immediately, meaning that you don’t have to wait up to 30 days or longer for your customers to pay. Thus leaving you with the cash to fund not only your day-to-day outgoings but also your aspirations for growth.

“It also means that funding grows in line with your business; the more invoices you raise, the more funding you get.

“Being smart about this should mean that cash flow is one less thing to worry about,” he added.