small business lender, Iuka, conducted a survey of owners of small and medium businesses across the country to better understand the process of setting goals as a business. The survey contains some interesting findings, including information on the top six physical and mental challenges entrepreneurs face across the country.
SME owners face sleep loss and work-life imbalance
The most common mental challenge faced by entrepreneurs appears to be lack of sleep, which affected one in six participants, closely followed by problems with work-life balance.Read:The Experience of Reward Increases Connectivity Between the Default Mode Network and Other Brain Regions
|The mental and physical challenges they face when starting their own business||Percentage of respondents who agreed with this statement|
|Lack of sleep||16%|
|Lack of work-life balance||15th%|
|Mental health and wellness are affected||14%|
|Physical health and wellness are affected||11%|
Setting realistic goals is important to the mental health of entrepreneurs
To understand the importance of setting realistic mental health goals for entrepreneurs, Iuka spoke to a life coach and therapist, Danny Greaves:Read:Cambridge Medical & Rehabilitation Center Helps Patients with Multi-Factorial Illnesses & Chronic Conditions Return to Their Activities of Daily Living Sooner USA – English USA – English USA – English
“Setting achievable goals is key to staying motivated and focused on achieving your business dreams. When we set a realistic goal and achieve it, our brain gives us a boost of the chemical dopamine that makes us feel happy. On the other hand, when we set an unrealistic goal… we begin to accumulate evidence of That we cannot do what we plan to do, this increases self-doubt and results in diminished self-image.”
Three-quarters of SMEs have changed direction in some way
- Only 30% of SME owners said they achieved their short-term business goals within the time frame set initially
- 75% of SME owners have changed the direction of the business in some way, with 17% making major changes to the original plan
- The survey reveals that 88% of SME owners hand over a £500,000 guaranteed investment to help their business grow
Although more than a third (36%) of SME owners start their businesses for more flexibility, 15% admit that they struggle with balancing work and personal life The IYOCA survey showed that 75% of SME owners said their business direction has changed Somehow their original plan has since. Moreover, when considering their original business plans, 17% of SME owners decided to completely change the direction of their business.Read:Erin Andrews on managing her career and mental health during 2016 cervical cancer journey
Since this complete change of direction, 67% of these SME owners now have annual sales of over £500,000, and 18% with annual sales of over £1m.
Changing the business plan isn’t the only way business owners have said things didn’t go as expected.
Nearly two-thirds (60%) of small and medium-sized business owners did not achieve their short-term goals within their initial time frame and budget
The survey reveals that more than two-fifths (44%) of small and medium business owners who said they needed extra time to complete their initial goals took an average of 7-12 months longer to do so:
|The extra time SME owners need to complete the initial short-term goals||Percentage of respondents who agreed with this statement|
|up to 6 months||0%|
|7 – 12 months||44%|
|13 – 18 months||26%|
|19 months – 2 years||13%|
|More than 5 years||0%|
Sharon Pocock, founder of the accounting firm Kinder Pocock: “Focus in a business is very important, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will go according to plan or exactly how you set it as part of your original strategy. As accountants, our job is to help with this process and ensure that the business owners we work with continue to evolve and stay focused. Remembering why they started in the first place.
“Make sure the business is working for you, not your business.”
The survey also reveals that often (in 50% of cases) long-term goals are taken at least 13 months more than expected to achieve. In order to combat this, 17% of business owners have lowered their short-term goals In order to achieve them within the initial time frame and budget. Furthermore, 22% said they had to increase their budget in order to achieve their goals.
To view the full research, which includes examples of successful companies for inspiration, please visit iwoca