Lack of time named biggest barrier to small business growth

Some 85% of small business owners are positive about the year ahead, but most blame shortage of time for their slow growth. , according to new research from The Forum of Private Business.

The national organisation for small businesses surveyed its members and found that 30% expect to increase the number of their workforce and 15% expect to increase the hours of their workforce. Meanwhile, 60% are looking to target new customers, 42% will focus on improving customer service and 41% will look at product development.

Time, money and expertise were cited as the main challenges facing small businesses. With time listed as the primary barrier, as 36% of small businesses believe that time will continue to be a major challenge as they look to manage their businesses over the next 12 months.

Alex Jackman, head of policy at the Forum of Private Business, said: “That time is now the biggest barrier for businesses growth potential in 2014 sends a clear message to Government. Now is the time to build on the success of deregulation measures introduced and to really push on minimising the impact of some of the big employment law reforms currently in progress. A focus on creating stability of regulation for small businesses would be enormously helpful.”

Business rates also continue to be a worry for many small business owners with 46% citing them as a continuing burden, followed by the rising cost of utilities at 40%.