Family Main Source of Advice for 400,000 Small Businesses

Guidance on new legislation is top concern for small business owners yet many fail to seek expert advice

A new survey has revealed that one in 10 small and mid-sized business owners rely on advice from family members as their first port of call, despite their top worries concerning guidance on new legislation, finance and HR.

The survey, conducted by Sage One, revealed that new legislation – such as the Auto-Enrolment Act – is the biggest concern for businesses with 20% of respondents stating so. This was followed by advice on finance (14%) and HR (13%). The majority of businesses seem confident in their company’s marketing strategy – with only 9% naming it as a top worry.

Though the research shows that some small and medium-sized firms are seeking advice from experts – 56% looking to accountants and 26% seeking help via government websites – 10% of owners still prefer to look to family for business advice.

This follows the trend that in their first year companies receive up to £4,000 worth of advice from personal sources, instead of making use of expert advice that is available to them. These businesses could be risking non-compliancy with legislations and hampering growth potential as family members lack the right expertise for business.

Head of Sage One, Claire Carter, discussed the dangers of relying on personal contacts alone:

“With business confidence and economic growth increasing, there is a significant opportunity for small businesses to take advantage of the upturn. However, our research suggests that the majority of firms are taking advice not to take advantage of this, but to navigate the complexities around legislation.

“When starting a business family and friends offer an invaluable network of support and guidance, but when it comes to legislation speak to a specialist.”

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