Small business owners stress over cash flow and work-life balance

Peter Terlato 20 September 2016

Small business owner stress money

SME reluctance to adopt new technologies increases the financial burden.

Small to medium enterprise (SME) owners in Australia are encountering financial hardship and risk compromising their wellbeing as a result of poor cash flow management, a lack of understanding around funding and hesitation when it comes to embracing new technologies and business practices.

A survey by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) found a lack of cash flow to be one of the primary stress factors for small business owners, with half of the respondents admitting they skipped paying themselves a wage one or more times in the past year, owing to cash flow concerns.

The way in which SMEs manage cash flow is questionable, with a little over a third (37%) sending invoices to customers in a timely fashion, while another third (32%) rely on personal funds to cover costs.

Many SMEs use credit cards (44%) as their go-to method for managing their business' cash flow, working capital and investment finances.

Small business owners are also waiting too long for invoices to be paid, increasing the cash flow burden.

However, better understanding your funding options can go along way to reducing stress and improving your chances of keeping your business up and running.

A business bank account can help you keep track of your expenses and provide flexible banking options.

CBA's research also highlights the notion that small business owners feel their personal wellbeing is being sacrificed at the expense of their work.

44% of respondents suggested they didn't spend enough time on personal wellbeing, despite half of them (50%) believing personal development ensures productivity.

Who's satisfied? As annual turnover increases, work-life balance decreases. For example, 55% of those earning less than $100,000 were satisfied, compared with 51% of those earning between $100,000-$250,0000 and just 47% of those earning between $250,000-$1,000,000.

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