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UK SMEs’ three biggest fears revealed – but can they really fix them?

Written by Eric Johansson on Thursday, 30 May 2019. Posted in Leadership, People

Entrepreneurs loose sleep worrying about many things. However, they may lack the skills to overcome their challenges, according to new research from Robert Half UK

UK SMEs’ three biggest fears revealed – but can they really fix them?

Running a small business is difficult. From loosing sleep worrying about cashflow to concerns about recruiting the right talent, SME head honchos have plenty to worry about. And while a new study has unearthed the truth about the top three concerns facing these leaders, it also doubted that they have the skills to solve them. 

Recruitment consultancy Robert Half UK surveyed 700 senior decision makers at UK businesses to find out what they worry about the most. The number one challenge facing these leaders in the next two years was economic uncertainty with 45% citing this as a particularly humungous obstacle to tackle. That concern was followed by 41% who felt trepidations regarding ongoing digitalisation efforts and the 37% who felt the same about increased competition. 

Worryingly, many of the people polled believed their businesses lacked the leadership to overcome these hurdles. For instance, 41% said the people at the helm were resistant to change the business by implementing digital solutions. Furthermore, 40% said their bosses lacked soft skills and 30% said top managers failed to communicate with their staff. 

Commenting on the research, Matt Weston, managing director of Robert UK, said: “SMEs planning for the future will need strong leadership now more than ever to cope with economic uncertainty, ongoing digitalisation efforts and increased competition.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that business leaders are fearful of uncertainties. After all, when markets become unpredictable it results in corporate chieftains struggling to plan ahead. 

Over the past three years, this concern has been repeated whenever Brexit has been brought up. Moreover, a recent study suggested that 62% of business leaders don’t think the government is doing enough to support them. So adding that these new findings suggest UK SME leaders lack the skills to tackle these challenges is certainly worrying. 

About the Author

Eric Johansson

As web editor and resident Viking, Johansson ensures EB is filled with engaging and eclectic entrepreneurial stories. While one of our most prolific tech writers, he has sharpened his editorial teeth by writing about entertainment and fitness. 

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