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Small business owners have none to confide in

A new study from AXA UK has revealed that almost half (48%) of small business owners feel they have nobody to confide in about the problems and stress they are under.

The new research which is part of the SME Wellbeing Report from AXA UK has revealed that two in three do not think they can talk to friends or family about the stress they feel because they don’t want to worry them and 48% find it hard to know who they can talk to about their business troubles. As a result, 44% of the 500 SME owners polled for the report feel they are unable to do the best possible job for both, themselves and their staff.

The cost-of-living crisis (45%), finding new customers (37%) and inflation (35%) are among the things which stress out SME owners most.

AXA UK CEO Claudio Gienal said, “It can be a very lonely place being an SME owner, which is why it is so important to ensure you can confide in someone who can relate to how you feel. Especially for those who have built much of their business alone, it can feel very strange opening up about what is going on in your workplace.

Mr. Gienal said, “When it comes to looking for support, there are many avenues business owners can take; for example, having robust insurance can help to take a weight off the mind.”

It is a different picture when it comes to communicating with members of staff as more than a third (34%) of those with employees on the payroll say they are very open with them about potential issues the business could encounter. However, a further 38% will only reveal a selected amount of information relating to the problems which they could face.

When it comes to staff wellbeing, more than half say they genuinely care about their staff and 44% are striving to create a positive work culture. In fact, two out of five take an active interest to strengthen the relationship between them and their staff, while 36% believe it is important for staff retention.

Many SME owners really recognize the importance of wellbeing and are doing everything in their power to create a space where members of staff feel comfortable talking about their concerns.


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