A new survey by Vero, part of the Suncorp Group, has revealed the top concern for small business owners – and it’s not digital disruption or access to working capital.
The poll of 1,500 Australian SMEs found that almost half of all business owners found that rising costs is what keeps them awake at night.
A further 42 per cent are concerned about a potential economic downturn and the effects this would have on their business, while around a third cite increased competition from competitors.
“There is little doubt that SME owners are wary about the economic future and, at the same time, are feeling they are constantly fighting to keep costs down,” said Anthony Pagano, national manager – commercial intermediaries at Suncorp Group.
The survey also revealed a disconnect between the concerns of small business owners and their perception of insurance coverage.
Just under a third of respondents (32 per cent) admitted to being very concerned about being unable to trade for lengthy periods, and a similar number (31 per cent) worried about the failure or breakdown of essential equipment. Yet many were unaware of business interruption insurance options.
One in five sole traders in NSW said they have worker’s compensation cover in place, despite Vero stating that it is only available to employees of businesses.
“Based on their claimed coverage, it would appear that many SMEs do not think they are covered for the business risks they are most concerned about,” the report concluded.