What’s the most stressful aspect of running a small business?

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Whilst running your own business has many plus points, the freedoms and pleasures also bring great responsibility and many headaches. But which are the most pressing worries on the minds of British small business owners?

According to the recent Solution Loans survey of 1000 UK SMEs, the number one concern that 64% of small business owners cite as their biggest worry, is retaining clients. 58% said that remaining profitable was the most stressful aspect of their business and 52% said late payments and interrupted cash flow were their biggest problems. 48% worry most about attracting new business.

What are your biggest worries keeping you up at night? The concerns of marketplace online retailers are probably a bit different to those of the SME community as a whole. That said, doubtless every business is concerned about profitability and cashflow.

The awesome power of the marketplaces themselves is surely a key concern. eBay and Amazon (and the others) can pull the plug at any times. Often you won’t have right of appeal and, even if you do, even just a temporary break in trading can significantly impact your cashflow and profitability. Not many SMEs will be subject to such a risk as a marketplace sanction that could blow your business out of the water on the nod of a customer support rep.

Changes and competition will also be a concern. As we’ve seen recently on eBay, changes to rules and fees can seriously impact your business and you won’t be consulted. The openness of the marketplaces mean that new entrants can start competing with you very quickly. And it’s ever more galling if such new competitors don’t play fair and pay their dues.

What worries you most about running a marketplace retail business?

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