Generating new sales is biggest business concern

Enterprises that consider themselves highly ambitious are significantly more worried about business issues than other firms

Creating new business is the top concern for small and medium enterprises, followed by worries over legislation and maintaining current sales figures, according to findings from financial company Santander.

The report, which featured 800 firms, found that 44% of small and mid-sized firms are worried about their company’s ability to win new customers; 37% are anxious over how changes to legislation will impact their business and 36% are concerned with keeping their existing sales streams.

Other major issues named by businesses in Santander’s survey were cashflow problems and staff management, which were both a top concern for 35% of the respondents; followed by customer credit risk (28%).

The research also found that businesses that consider themselves as ‘highly ambitious’ are more apprehensive about all business issues, especially generating new business with 6% more than the average concerned about doing so.

The size of the businesses also influenced anxieties, with small companies (annual turnovers of between £1m and £2.5m) more nervous about finding new customers than larger companies (turnovers between £2.5m and £25m), whose greater concern was managing staff and customer credit risk.

Head of Santander’s small and medium enterprise sector, Marcelino Castrillo, discussed the disparities:

“Existing and new customers are the lifeblood of small and medium enterprises, so it is good to see these are priorities for the majority of firms.

“It is also interesting to note the heightened awareness of these among firms that see themselves as highly ambitious – a strong grasp on core business issues such as customer service, sales and staff management are fundamental to the success of any business.”

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