The 'can do' attitude that entrepreneurs need to survive and thrive
could also be their Achilles heel, according to new research released
today by specialist insurer Hiscox. The research(1) found that despite
71% saying that legal and 43% saying that accounting issues should be
handled by a professional, only 30% of small business owners actually
employ full and/or part time help in these areas of expertise.
When asked which area of running a business they lacked the most
knowledge of, over half of respondents said legal (52 followed by
taxes (42, IT (22%), insurance (19%) and sales and marketing (23%).
But over three quarters (77 do not believe this to be a threat to
their business, and 36% are determined to find a way through any
Over a third (35 of small business owners say their passion for
their idea gets them through the pressures of day-to-day management of
their business and 48% believe pressure is what they signed up for
when they started out.
"We know that entrepreneurs are committed to giving their businesses
nothing less than a hundred per cent and they are often stretched to
become a 'jack of all trades'. Our research shows there could be a
skills gap between what they admit they lack knowledge of, and what
they are willing to invest in," said Deepak Soni, small business
insurance(http://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-insurance) expert at
Hiscox. "There comes a point when small business owners need to trust
other experts to help them with the more complex and technical issues
associated with running a business."
Despite the potential hazards of legal and financial errors, more
business owners employ an office manager than an accountant and/or
in-house legal counsel (19% vs. 5. Although, if they could employ
another person, 18% believe that the professional assistance that
would be most valuable to their business would be an
The research also found that business owners handle the majority of
office tasks including:
- Ordering supplies 80%
- Filing 77%
- Paying invoices 71%
- Preparing invoices 70%
- Printing/ binding documents 70%
- Opening the business in the morning 67%
- Closing up at night 66%
- Cleaning the office space 58%
- Reception duties 54%
- Customer deliveries 49%
Deepak Soni adds: "It is important for entrepreneurs to recognise when
they need to seek out expert advice and support so they aren't opening
themselves up to business critical risks. For example, a badly worded
supplier contract could lead to disputes down the line that could end
up breaking the bank or the relationship."
For more information about Hiscox business insurance, visit:
Notes to editors
(1)The Survey Shop interviewed a sample of 600 respondents, 300 from
the UK and 300 from the US, drawn at random from online panels of
small businesses with fewer than ten employees between 14 and 17th May
2012. The respondents were qualified as owners, partners and
directors. The research has statistical accuracy of +/- 2% to +/- 4%
for the whole sample at 95% confidence.
Hiscox, headquartered in Bermuda, is an international specialist
insurance group listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There
are three main underwriting parts of the Group - Hiscox London Market,
Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market
underwrites mainly internationally traded business in the London
Market - generally large or complex business which needs to be shared
with other insurers or needs the international licences of Lloyd's.
Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of specialist insurance for
professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth
individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda,
Guernsey and USA.
For further information on all Hiscox business
insurance(http://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-insurance/) products or
please visit www.hiscox.co.uk(http://www.hiscox.co.uk/).