Business Owners Increasingly Fear Losing Their Reputation

The National Living Wage has also raised concerns for enterprise owners with many worried about an increase in labour costs

Business Owners Increasingly Fear Losing Their Reputation

The fear of their business losing its reputation, and being unable to regain it, tops the list of concerns for the country’s small enterprise owners – according to a report by Broker Network.

The survey, which polled 538 UK small and medium business owners, revealed that 30% see threats to their company’s status as the biggest issue facing their business today particularly as it can be affected by things out of their control such as a courier failing to deliver on time.

Many of the businesses surveyed said that online reputation was less of a worry than traditional word of mouth, despite the fact that online reputation is an important asset worth protecting. Arguably, negative comments posted online and on social media will reach more potential customers than a word-of mouth comment.

Regulatory changes (27%) were the second highest concerns among those surveyed with 17% of entrepreneurs citing ‘employee issues’ as their biggest business anxiety – said to relate to the introduction of the National Living Wage with employers worried that labour costs will outweigh what they can realistically charge consumers.

The lowest concerns for business owners currently include supply chain issues (13%) and legal issues (11%).

Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, said of the findings:

“Companies are committed to raising prosperity and living standards – but for wage increases to be sustainable they must go hand-in-hand with productivity growth.

“If the National Living Wage doesn’t get this balance right it will risk being unaffordable for many firms. Smaller businesses and those in key sectors like hospitality, retail and care are likely to be particularly affected.”

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