Small business decision-makers gripped by fear
A fear of failure is hitting British entrepreneurs with 57% of senior decision makers in SMEs admitting that they’ve put off making important decisions during the last twelve months, in case they make the wrong call.
New research from Barclays suggests that a tough economy is causing “business paralysis”, with over half of those questioned stating that the economic environment has affected their approach to making decisions.
However, it’s not just economic uncertainty fuelling the fear (58%), but concerns around cash flow and late payments (32%), increased competition (28%) and legislation and regulation (27%).
Respondents also admitted their fear of failure has or could prevent their businesses from growing (48%); from taking an innovative approach to marketing (31%); and impact the longer-term direction of the business (28%).
Younger entrepreneurs (aged 25-34) are more willing to move outside their comfort zone when it comes to making business decisions – they are less worried about the current economic environment (44%) than older entrepreneurs (60%), but more concerned about the Eurozone (16% versus 12%).
Other findings from the research include:
Business managers’ levels of risk appear to be mirrored in both their business and personal lives, as the majority of business owners (51%) take as many risks in their business life as they do in their personal life.
However, females (25%) are more likely to take risks in business than they are in their personal lives, compared to males (36%).
Three quarters (71%) of entrepreneurs have made decisions that have frightened them.
The top most frightening decision was turning down a customer or client (24%), followed by decisions relating to current employees such as making redundancies (17%) and taking on external finance in order to grow (17%).