Staying motivated: The biggest challenge for small business owners


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April 7th, 2014
Hiscox Experts

Hiscox insures more than 300,000 UK businesses and has been named Best Small Business Insurance Provider by Start Your Business magazine for eight years in a row.

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So you’ve decided to set up by yourself and go at it alone. Congratulations – you’ve joined the large number of people who’ve made the leap and launched a small business or become a freelancer. But once you’ve got through those adrenaline-fuelled first few months, what’s the biggest obstacle you’ll face?

We asked 500 freelancers and small business owners to choose from a list of challenges and were surprised with the results.

Despite the financial constraints faced by small business today, cash flow wasn’t listed as the biggest difficulty. Instead 41% of those surveyed said the biggest problem was staying motivated and maintaining a work-life balance came second.

In total, the top five challenges listed by small businesses and freelancers were:

  1. Staying motivated (41%)
  2. Maintaining a work-life balance (38%)
  3. Cashflow (28%)
  4. Making difficult decisions alone (22%)
  5. Managing people (22%)

On a more light-hearted note, we also asked about their unsung office heroes – the small but vital objects that power their day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the office kettle was listed as the most important office object, suggesting there’s nothing like a cup of tea to keep you motivated during a busy day

Other unsung heroes were very much on a practical side, with notepads, comfortable office chairs, sticky notes and USB sticks rounding out the top five, which were:

  1.  Kettle (41%)
  2. Notepad (30%)
  3. Comfortable office chair (23%)
  4. Sticky notes (23%)
  5. USB stick (18%)

If you’re struggling to keep yourself motivated with your business then be sure to read up on our entrepreneur articles including tips and interviews.

Is motivation one of your biggest challenges of being your own boss? What gets you through the day? Leave a comment below or join in the conversation on Twitter @HiscoxUK (external link).