A significant number of small business owners say their lack of financial knowledge was the biggest early hindrance to their success. The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has published new research today that shows that while 22% of those in need of financial advice would ask an accountant, a worrying 19% would simply Google it.
However, despite their admission that financial knowledge may be lacking, only 11% said they wish they had spent more time on finance at first when starting out, compared to 19% who said they would have spent more time on marketing to help generate leads for their business. 8% said they would have spent more time on IT, and 5% on PR and social media.”
Start ups need more help
Commenting on the research findings Rob Alder, head of business development at AAT, said: “Starting your own business can be a daunting process. This research shows that many people who want to run their own business may need more help when they’re starting out. If you have a business idea, it’s essential you do as much research as possible to ensure your idea has the best chance to succeed. Being confident in yourself and your idea is excellent, but you should still ensure you get as much advice as you can, from multiple sources.”
The research coincides with the news issued last week that UK SME owners are spending 10% of their working day chasing payments. Financial software firm XERO issued the research, which revealed that:
- Over half (52%) of UK business owners worry about unpaid invoices
- Worst affected regions found to be London where businesses spend 1.5 days per month chasing payments, followed by 1.3 days by businesses in Wales
- The business sector spending the most time chasing payments was found to be HR (3 days), followed by IT & Telecoms (1.8 days) and Manufacturing & Utilities (1.7 days)
It also showed that the two main reasons cited by small business as being the causes of late payments were that their customers were also waiting for payments themselves (32%), as well as a lack of consistency on payment terms (27%). In response to the growing concern over late payment of invoices, the company has produced a music video to showcase the frustrations felt by ordinary small firms when faced with late payers.
It’s worth a watch. You can see it here.